If you have spent any amount of time living here on the planet earth, you have had your feelings hurt one time or another. Some of those hurts were minor infractions that could easily be brushed off and forgiven; others were not so simple. Some hurts cut you to the very core of your being, leaving you lost and confused for years. Some emotional hurts are so destructive that they stay with you for a lifetime. There are many people who live their lives in broken because their wound is too deep to heal completely. They learned to live with their wound.
On the flip side of the coin is the fact that just as surely as we have been hurt, we too have hurt someone else. Most of us with a conscience will eventually offer an apology. Apologies can either be accepted or not but when you care you try to find a way to resolve the problem. However, there are times when our infractions against the person are so many that simply saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. Sometimes, we can say “I’m sorry” so much that the words no longer have value.
“I’m sorry” is often followed by the words “I never meant or intended to hurt you”. You would think that simply knowing the person didn’t “intend” to hurt you would make things better, right? Not necessarily, especially in the case of a repeat offender!
Many moons ago, I was married. If you’ve ever been married, you know that you will hurt each other’s feelings! Especially early on in the marriage as you are growing and getting to know each other; my husband and I were no exception to the rule! Most of the time I was able to forgive my husband easily but my problem came in when he did the same thing that caused me hurt over and over again. I distinctly remember telling him to not even utter the words “I’m sorry” because he couldn’t possibly be sorry for something he continued to do!
I recently had some one to give me the combo of “I’m sorry” and “I never meant to hurt you” together. My first thought was….and yet you did anyhow! I was most angry because while he may have never intended to cause me hurt, there was never an intention not to cause me hurt! This was the also the same reason that I had to forgive him. I am distinctly aware of the fact that he like so many fail to live with intention. Most don’t even know what it means to live with intention; most people are still asleep.
So, what does it mean to live with intention? To me, living with intention begins with a set of guiding principles. For me, one of my guiding principles is to seek to do the greatest good in all of my interactions and for as much as it is in my power, do unto others as I would have them do to me. This one principle of mine changes a lot in my life! You won’t find me being overly critical of people anymore. You won’t find me engaging in too many conversations where I intentionally take digs at people. I never seek to embarrass anyone in public. I communicate my expectations and boundaries in relationships authentically. Most importantly, I intend not to bring harm to a person through my actions. I’ve even learned to be a little kinder in my honesty (something I’ve always struggled with being the true Sagittarian that I am)!
There are only a few more guiding principles in my life. Some I’m exceptionally good at and some….I’m still a work in progress. However, everyone that knows me would say that they can see these drivers in my life. No matter the challenge, they know what to expect of me. Now when I say I’m sorry, the people who know me well understand that I was not aware that what I was doing hurt them AND because is within my power I won’t do it again. This has become a part of my character. It is no longer a part of my character to hurt people intentionally! Notice that I said…”no longer”. I had to learn a new way of being and now that has become who I am to the world. This new way of being honors the trueness of who I am at my core. It honors the light that is within me. Living with intention allows me to be authentic. Being authentic brings me joy and causes me to be a peace with myself and with the world.
If you find yourself in a place where you are constantly apologizing or constantly being accused of hurting people, then I encourage to try living with intention. Begin by defining your guiding principles and then finding someone to help you stay accountable to them; this can be a friend, partner or even a professional coach. Finally, I want to remind you that you really do have the power to change your life. You have the ability to live authentically. You can have a life filled with love, joy and peace! Choose to live that life and live it with intention to do nothing less! Be Blessed.
Laticia R. Little, Holistic Life Coach