Wait, what words were you thinking of?
I was thinking about two of the most difficult and most necessary words in our vocabulary, the “F-word” is FORGIVENESS and the “S-word” is SORRY.
I can remember arguing with my sister when we were little and while I don’t remember the content of the arguments, I do remember the aftermath…the apology forced out of us by our parents. My parents were big on apologies and big on doing it right away! Mom and Dad always said, “Never go to bed angry.” As a little girl this meant having to hug my little sister and say the dreaded words, “I’m sorry,” seconds after our fight had ceased, which of course meant we were both still fuming.
Have you every given a hug to someone and it felt like hugging an ice sculpture? It feels icy cold with no effort on the hug-back. That’s what those apologetic hugs were like back then. If the hug wasn’t bad enough, we usually ended up saying “sorry” 25 times before it sounded loud and clear enough and “like we meant it.” The truth is, we didn’t mean it, not at that moment, seconds after our spat, but looking back I can now appreciate and understand the lesson in forgiving and asking for forgiveness that our parents were trying to teach us.
Motherhood and wifey-hood provide endless opportunities to hone your use of the “F” and “S” words.
Here are 10 Ways to Use the “F” and “S” Words More:
- Never Go to Bed Angry: Life is short and you never know what will happen in the next week or next day or next minute. Don’t let the last words you speak to someone by words of anger or pain.
- Apologize in Person: There are so many ways to get a message to people today! Even if you have done the hurting via social media, don’t apologize through social media or a text! Apologize in person, so you can look the person in the eyes and give them an “I’m sorry” hug. At the very least, pick up the phone!
- Take Responsibility: Watch yourself, it is easy to say, “I’m sorry, BUT…..” If there is a BUT in your “I’m sorry,” then it probably isn’t authentic, because you are not taking full responsibility. This is especially easy to do as a parent. I’ve caught myself about to say, “Mommy is sorry for yelling, but you were being really naughty.” That is a fake apology that basically is saying, “I’m sorry, but it really was your fault.”
“If there is a BUT in your “I’m sorry,”
then it probably isn’t authentic.”
- Be an Example: The best way to teach our children and others how to ask forgiveness and how to forgive others is through our actions. It’s important for our kids to see us humbling ourselves, acknowledging, “Mommy messed up; I’m so sorry; I’ll try better next time.”
- Mean It: If you say, “I’m sorry,” mean it! Saying “I’m sorry” and making the same mistakes over and over again eventually renders the “I’m sorry” meaningless. A true “I’m sorry” is coupled with, “I’ll try better!”
- Give Second Changes:
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” -CS LewisForgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Be Cautious When Demanding Apologies: Children especially do many well-intentioned things that turn into mini-disasters. For example, if your little one is attempting to bring you breakfast in bed, but accidently spills the tray all over the carpet, do not crush him by demanding an apology! He had a true servant’s heart!
- Forgive People You Don’t Know: Someone cuts you off in traffic. The waiter at the restaurant was so rude. The cashier at Walgreens forgot to put the stamps in my bag! How much angry-time do we dedicate to these people?! I promise you, those people didn’t give you a second thought, so don’t waste another second being upset with them! Release and forgive!
- Ask God for Forgiveness: “The Lord never gets tired of forgiving, never. It’s us who get tired of asking His forgiveness.” -Pope Francis
- Forgive Yourself First: Stop the negative self-talk and negative self-attacks. If we don’t forgive ourselves first, we remain weak; it blocks our ability to truly shine!
Friends, I hope this post helps you find ways to use the “F-word” and “S-word” a little more fearlessly!
PS: Yes, dear little sister, I do forgive you for passing gas on my pillow all those years ago and I hope you’ll forgive me for regularly licking every piece of the pizza fries to “claim them.” Hug and sorry!