Everyone talks about confidence. They talk about knowledge. Skill. Endurance. But those feel more like the type of strength we see in the movies, where the good guys only get wounded in ways where they get sexy scars rather than a sequel in a wheelchair.
Real strength is the ability to reason, and to empathize, show compassion, and humility. Strength is not made by avoiding mistakes. Strength is recognizing our mistakes, then truly caring enough to apologize earnestly.
Today we go to the spiritual gym and we learn to work out our problems. Because the only real ‘problems’ we have are the conflicts within us.
Guilt, regret, shame. We’re not supposed to hold onto those for decades, we’re supposed to use those negative feelings to prompt us into the action that will end those negative feelings.
That being the case, today our workout in the spiritual gym will be to offer one, sincere, hard-to-deliver apology to someone who we honestly feel deserves it. If it’s not hard to deliver, it’s like lifting no weight. That won’t build much strength.
On the other hand, if our apology is really hard to do, then it’s not only a great workout, but it will get a lot of weight off of our shoulders as well.
Today it’s time to get serious about spiritual growth, Some people have egos that want to look holy or peaceful, but spirituality has no value if it’s not with us in our darkest times.
This is not about being calm all the time, or having endless patience, or always being happy, or any of the other images that people market as being ‘spiritual.’ This is about responsibility for our own life and the rewards that go with it.
It’ll only be hard until we do it. Once it’s done, that feeling will convert to relief. And if our apology isn’t accepted, that’s fine. That’s the other person’s journey. If we have offered it sincerely, then we have done our part. After that, compassion is the best response to another person’s choice to continue suffering over the past.
From here it’s easy. Choose the person and subject, and then apologize before the end of the day. These are the steps that help build a better life. If we do them often enough we can even come to enjoy them.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.