In life we will make our share of mistakes and in some cases the same mistake more than once. The human ego
is a horrible task master which demands our undying loyalty. It tells us things are just fine, we are ok, we did nothing wrong, and they deserved it. The ego
blinds us to the truth which may set us free, it tells us, “No… don`t look there” when in fact; we desperately need to look. The human ego is in most cases a liar who has our worst interest at heart disguised by a mask of self defense
. There have been millions of untold stories of destruction and failure in the human experience which falls at the feet of the human ego.
When we hurt another person we are at once left with a choice; to let it go or try and make it right again. I am speaking strictly about when we hurt someone and we know we have, or they have told us that we have. It is in those cases that we must make a choice which will ultimately cause a war with our ego. The first thing that takes place is our mind races to defend itself, it looks for anything to explain the situation in a way that will lay the blame somewhere else or in another direction. The mind is now in total defense mode and focuses totally on that end, forgetting completely the person who may have really been hurt.
The human ego has its purposes and some of them are useful and good; it can drive us to great success and invention; it can give us the strength and will to fight and win; but it can also turn us in the wrong direction and cause a past full of wreckage we must someday clean up. Cleaning up this wreckage is what I hope to address. I hope to share some experience, strength, and wisdom
in this matter.
What is an apology
? What is an amends? What do they really mean? How do I take these actions correctly? These are some of the questions a person may have if they are really looking for answers and have a true desire to set matters straight. In making amends we must first recognize our ego may be lying to us and not allowing us to see the offense which occurred in the proper light. When our defenses go up we are immediately thinking of ourselves and not truly
able to focus on the other persons feelings or see their side of it. This is where the true cross roads of an amends are found.
If we can stop our ego-at that moment-from telling us we have done no wrong or that we must not look there, we can truly listen to the offended person and hear their complaint. It shows more wisdom to stop and listen to something we may not want to hear than to spiral into a mode of self defense and excuses. At this point, if we pass this test of human ego, we can truly focus and hear the person’s complaint and have a shot at righting the wrong which may have occurred.
What does the word “amends
” mean? The dictionary makes it clear that it is an act of change, a mending of ways, setting things back to the way they were before the offense occurred. If we truly desire to make an amends, if we truly care about the feelings of others, if we sincerely want to make things right again, we must take action. We must give a sincere apology and then set out to rectify the situation by making things the way they were prior to the offense if possible. This is an action step
that requires work on our part; if we are unable to set things back the way they were, we must change our behavior which is the action step in that case.
Furthermore, we must not bring up anything that we think they may have done to us at that point. It is not an amends to say something like, “I am sorry, but I would not have done it if you had not done…. Fill in the blank.” This is an example of ego being in the way; it is an example of placing blame on the actions of others rather than taking responsibility for our side of the street. There is no room for a “but” after the words “I am sorry” if we truly want to make an amends. An old proverbs states; “even a fool is counted wise when he remains silent.” In some cases an amends may consist of us shutting our mouth and just listening to the other person’s grievance; in some cases the person simply wants to be heard. The point of this is to say that a true amends requires an act of selflessness that is very much in conflict with the human ego. May God bless you all, Scott