How To Say Sorry

At this time of year it is customary for Jews to ask forgiveness of one another. Here are two posts on this topic:

Larry: Who Asks For Forgiveness

A Simple Jew: Asking Forgiveness Before Yom Kippur

I always have a hard time with this. I suppose others do, as well. I have been in therapy for over twenty years, and I find therapists usually emphasize concentrating on one’s own feelings. Not that one should intentionally cause someone else pain, but let the other person take care of his/her feelings, while you take care of your own. Well, actually, in couples’ therapy there is more of an emphasis on paying attention to each other’s feelings. I think the best “derech” (path) for me in this matter would be to let go of grudges, of childhood angers that can’t be changed. At the same time, I need to continue to acknowledge my anger and not squelch it. If this post is now rambling, I’ll let you know I’m writing and erasing, writing and erasing. Not quite sure what to say; however, the desire to say something exists.

So now I’ll write a general “I’m sorry,” (to anyone in the blogosphere who may have been offended by anything I wrote) because that’s the easiest way to deal with this.

I tried asking my six-year-old daughter forgiveness yesterday for the way too many times I lose my temper with her. She didn’t get it. Maybe I’ll try again on Wednesday, Erev Yom Kippur (eve of Yom Kippur).

8 thoughts on “How To Say Sorry

  • Krisu, thanks.

    I’m going to paste Louise’s comment here:
    Forgiveness. It IS hard, and you did all you can do. But I will say that although it is kind of you to ask forgiveness from the blogosphere, from when Iโ€™ve been here, I canโ€™t imagine why anyone would ever be offended. If they have been, I will say that sometimes people looks for reasons to be offended. Your blog is beautiful. Now the temper with the 6-year-oldโ€ฆ I understand! And Iโ€™ve asked my 6-year-old daughter for forgiveness on more than one occasion!

    My response to Louise: it’s something I’m supposed to do at this time of year. I’m not expecting that anyone would be offended. But I am supposed to ask forgiveness, for what, I don’t know! I think I have a childhood thing about expecting criticism, too.

    Thanks for the understanding on dealing with the six-year-olds of this world. Having had two boys first, she can really make all of us go “grrrr….” sometimes. Willful, some of these little girls.

  • Your daughter might not seem to get it, but I bet she is taking it all in, and will remember at some point in time, that you asked for her forgiveness.

    Leora to her daughter: Will you forgive me for not being nice sometimes, and for maybe yelling a bit too loud at you, and forgive me for getting angry at you, sometimes for no good reason?

  • Ilana-Davita, nice to hear from you. Would love to read your post about mechila, even if it doesn’t get posted until next pre-Yom Kippur.

    Lorri, thanks for the encouragement.

  • I understand your dilemma, I never thought of that though. But really indirectly it could be your feelings that your working on, because your feelings can be affected by how you think others feel about you. So you may be angry at the person for doing something they really didn’t do, but because of miscommunication you thought they had, so then by dealing with their feelings you get closure on your feelings.

    That’s amazing that you asked your daughter for forgiveness, that’s a great step on your part. But yea, children don’t really understand such things, she may still see you as the perfect role model and can’t understand that you may have done something wrong.

  • JSoM (aka Babysitter), I’m angry at people (adults) in my childhood who stifled me. But I’m not a child anymore, so onwards and upwards, right?

    Some days my daughter says I’m the best mother in the world. Other days she says I’m the meanest. She’s 6; every minute it changes.

  • Leora: onwards and upwards does sound good.

    ahh I see, but still at the end of the day I’m sure she thinks your the best mother! It’s just when they get punished sometimes they get upset, but really the overall feeling is probably that she loves you and thinks your the best.

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