Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am so sorry!

Today I made a mistake. It hurt someone's feelings, I am fairly sure. I was devastated and ashamed and once I had realized i had done it, I was sent into a spiral of emotions, dark ones. However, it led me to some insights.

1. Wanting to be forgiven seems more about me than about helping the person I wronged. I wanted to say I was sorry and for the person to make it alright. I wanted to know I was safe and not disliked. This is all about me and not about the other person.

2. There is very little you can do to actually make the person feel better sometimes. After you say you are sorry, you might make a vow never to make the mistake again, but really nothing takes away what you did. The person is hurt and the damage done. Most likely you aren't trusted anymore (unless you had a lot of trust to begin with when you did this, but in my case this is most likely not true)... and all you can hope is that the person has some good things coming to them from someone else that might salvage their day.

3. I wonder what the bible says about this? What do Buddhist teachings say about this? Anyone know any good resources about forgiving yourself?


Alex McFerron said...

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all you that are weary and are caring heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

yoke may mean imperial rule/harsh rule

Alex McFerron said...


"When we meditate, things from the past come up, and we have to work with them. We may remember times when we treated others horribly--hurting their feelings, deceiving them, repaying their kindness with spite, manipulating them, cheating them. While regret for these actions is appropriate and necessary to purify these karmas, we often fall into guilt and shame instead. Guilt and shame are obstacles to overcome on the path, because they keep us trapped in our self-centered melodrama entitled "How Bad I Am." Regret, on the other hand, realizes that we erred, leads us to purify, and motivates us to refrain from acting like that in the future.
How do we counteract guilt and shame? One way is to recognize that the person who did that action no longer exists. You are different now. Is the person who did that action five years ago the same person you are now? If she were exactly the same person, you would still be doing the same action. The present "you" exists in a continuum from that person, but is not exactly the same as her. Look back at the person you were with compassion. You can understand the suffering and confusion she was experiencing that made her act in that way."
From Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron

Alex McFerron said...

Romans 7:14-25

"For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. ....