Stress and The Art of Apologies


In a time and age where egos clash daily and everyone is vying for their 15 minutes of fame, we begin to see the ugly side of humanity…sadly, all too often. Take Lance Armstrong, for example. The simple truth is that when we make a mistake we need to apologize (and quickly). The delay of seeking forgiveness only becomes heavy emotional baggage. It is stress: fear (beginning with embarrassment, but progressing toward arrogance) that keeps us from righting the wrongs that we commit again our fellow humans, not to mention ourselves. Perhaps most importantly, the remorse of an apology needs to be sincere. If you happened to watch Lance Armstrong’s event last week (with Oprah), then you saw an excellent example of how NOT to make an apology. From a spiritual perspective, those people who have had a near death experience often come back to explain the need to offer apologies to those people they have wronged. It seems that it’s best (and perhaps easiest) to do it now, and the sooner the better.
Stress Tip for the Day
In the A.A. movement, there is a step in the recovery process called “making amends.” In the Jewish tradition this is called Atonement. Every culture has a strategy for seeking peace and reconciliation. You don’t have to be a member of AA to start making amends. Is there someone whom you have been unkind toward, someone whom you have violated their trust or human spirit? Now is the time to offer an apology. If it is too hard to do it face to face, then consider writing a letter. The Golden Rule applies to apologies too.
Links, Books and/or Movies Worth Noting:
This article in the Wall Street Journal provides some great tips on how to make an apology the right way.. it is highly worth reading.
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/01/18/why-lance-armstrongs-apology-was-just-plain-sorry/
Quote for the Day:
“A stiff apology is a second insult… the injured part does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged. He wants to be healed because he is hurt.” — Gilbert Chesterton
Photo For the Day
Using a photo of cyclists was an easy choice, but not a wise choice, so instead I selected a nice photo of a waterfall in Ohio… taken many years ago. Water is a symbol of spirit, where things move in a natural rhythm, when one apologies, then the rhythm of life returns to a more natural flow… Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

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