web analytics
April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Power of Sorry


Marriage-Relationship-logo

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Remember that saccharine line from the famous 1970 movie “Love Story?” It sounded icky to us then, and it sounds icky to us now, but since, like us, many of you also came of age under the spell of that cloying mantra, we’d like to set the record straight once and for all: it’s a big fat lie that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.

“Sorry” can be a mighty tool in saving your marriage, but in order to take full advantage of its power, we must be trained in its proper use.

There are two types of sorry.

There is “saying” sorry. That’s like saying, “I hear you.” Over here, we call it “doing” sorry. It’s superficial and phony, and everyone knows it. It doesn’t enhance your relationship, and as a matter of fact, it can potentially unleash a whole host of other demons that are better left undisturbed.

While it’s true that if your child took another kid’s toy, we would recommend that you train him to “say sorry,” make no mistake about its authenticity. Without also teaching that child about remorse—about “feeling” sorry—you can expect, over the years, that he will learn to use “sorry” as a tactic, a “get out of jail free” card good for future transgressions.

Feeling remorse.

The other day we saw an ad on a city bus, posted by NJ Safe Haven for Infants. It read: “Don’t abandon your baby! There’s a safe haven for unwanted infants. You can give up your baby safely, legally and anonymously at any hospital emergency room or police station. No shame, no blame, no names.”

Without getting into the depth of anguish that advertising copy caused us, let’s just focus on the last line: “No shame, no blame, no names.”

We are not heartless. As parents of six children, we can appreciate how overwhelming it is to bring home a newborn. Not only that, we applaud the dedication of safe havens to the welfare of these tiny, powerless future citizens of the world.

Where we cannot give a pass is taking “shame” out of the equation. How else would you characterize such insensitivity toward your own flesh and blood? Have we become such sissies that we don’t have the stomach for shame? Has shame become such a dirty word that it trumps “abandoning,” “giving up” and “unwanting” a child?

And if turning a callous eye toward our helpless, vulnerable newborn is NOT shameful, why then “no names?”

Well, you can count us among an apparent minority who believes that shame is a good thing, a healthy emotion, as long as it leads to authentic repentance: owning up to what we did, feeling regret, fixing it, and moving on.

Heck, we’ve felt a twinge of shame at giving up on a Sunday crossword puzzle. And what would be wrong with that? What would be so terrible if our shame compelled us to take a second look at what’s challenging us, and then rise up larger and more powerful than our circumstances?

Feeling sorry is a noble and productive thing, a response that can “bring us down in order to bring us up.” The ancient masters of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) call this “a descent for the purpose of ascent.”

The second type of sorry.

So, getting back to “sorry.” The second type is “feeling” sorry, or better said, “being” sorry. This can happen only as a result of acknowledging our responsibility in the matter of our relationships and opening ourselves up to the other person’s pain as though it were our own.

Rather than saying sorry as a ploy to shut the other person up; rather than saying sorry to avoid feeling (that dirty word) shame at what we’ve done, let’s say sorry, because we genuinely FEEL sorry. And let’s feel sorry in a way that advances the situation and doesn’t leave us wallowing in our self-serving soap opera.

Re-creation.

So here’s where we’d like to introduce you to a concept called “re-creation.”

When you re-create another, you make room for all the emotions, attitudes and points of view that your loved one is harboring. You actively remove yourself and all the self-indulgent “chatter” that is monopolizing your brain and allow what’s troubling your friend or your spouse to take center stage and occupy the entire vacant expanse that lies before you.

Then, and only then—in a space that is void of everything except the other person—can the process of re-creation begin to take place.

And by the way, re-creating is not limited to those things that YOU did or said that produced the upset. Even if your spouse came home from work embroiled in an upset of someone else’s making, you can make it disappear through re-creation.

Conceptually, it’s simple; it’s getting ourselves out of the way that can take a lifetime of practice.

But can you imagine the power in that? Can you imagine the effect it could have on your relationships?

That’s the power of sorry.

Sam’s study of Kabbalah, psychology, human potential and his desire to teach became the catalyst for “The Four Steps To A Successful Marriage.” This new book, along with the speaking engagements it has engendered, has enabled Sam and Terry to realize a lifelong dream. They live in New Jersey with the youngest four of their six “irrepressible” children.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Power of Sorry”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Desperate crowd awaits relief aid at Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.
ISIS Raids Palestinian Camp and Begins to Fulfill Netanyahu’s Prophecy
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

While we are all accustomed to the occasional recipe substitutions – swapping milk for creamer, applesauce for oil – gluten-free cooking is a whole different ballgame.

Until the year I decided to put a stop to all my tremors. I realized that if I wanted my family to experience Pesach and its preparations as uplifting and fulfilling, I’d have to relax and loosen up.

David looked up. “Hatzlacha, Dina,” he smiled. “I hope everything goes well.”

In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

More Articles from Sam Krause
Marriage-Relationship-logo

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Remember that saccharine line from the famous 1970 movie “Love Story?” It sounded icky to us then, and it sounds icky to us now, but since, like us, many of you also came of age under the spell of that cloying mantra, we’d like to set the record straight once and for all: it’s a big fat lie that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-power-of-sorry/2012/01/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: