Apologizing with Love

Love Never Fails by Shattered Infinity, on Flickr

Apologies are tricky things.

Apologies are always to be meant, never to be falsified, and sometimes done more out of love or respect than a willingness to admit wrongs. Sustaining relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or familial, means often humbling yourself to the basic nature of love itself. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is not easily angered and quick to forgive. Love is caring and protecting.

Think back to the last time you hurt someone. What do you remember? Were you right or were you wrong? Don’t be surprised if you can’t quite recall — you are not alone. But let me ask you this: did you hurt feelings? Exchange words you didn’t mean? Did you cause someone pain unnecessarily? Much easier to remember, right?

Apologizing after making a mistake is easy once we realize that we’ve wronged someone. Usually we feel genuinely sorry and want to repent for our errors. Apologizing after an argument, though, now that’s hard. We as humans tend to get caught up in our egos and desire to be right. It’s only natural. Wanting to be right, instinctively, can’t be helped. But, we can change the way we view the situation or argument as a whole, and how we handle it afterwards.

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Giving With No Strings Attached

I'll Give You All I Can... by Brandon Christopher Warren, on Flickr Tonight I witnessed something particularly ordinary, but interesting nonetheless. A man in the theater parking lot where I was walking got out of his car and immediately crossed over to the other side to open the door for his wife. She walked out without even so much as a thank you and just moved past him. He stood smiling the whole time.

Some may think, “Why does he put up with that? He shouldn’t do that if she’s not going to appreciate it!” She offered him no thanks, no gratitude, and nothing in return. And yet, he was still happy to do it. Although it may seem difficult to believe at first, this small, simple act showed me so much unconditional love. His actions did not come tagged with a condition or an expectation. He simply loved his wife and wanted to do something nice for her. No strings attached.

Often times I find people struggling to give without expecting anything in return.

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How to Cope When a Busy Mind Rules Your Life

Metro Woman by Extra Medium, on Flickr

The other morning I was driving to school and was suddenly jolted into a panic. I didn’t recognize the scenery around me. Had I missed my exit? Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? A few minutes later, I recognized where I was going. I hadn’t gone off my route at all — I had simply “spaced out”, like I do almost every time I drive to school. I didn’t recognize the scenery around me because I never paid attention to it.

Like many people who become caught up in their thoughts instead of “being in the moment”, I often let my busy mind distract me from the task at hand. It’s not that my mind goes blank, though. Most people assume that when I say I’m “spacing out”, what’s really happening is that I’m just letting my mind sleep while I’m awake. That’s not true. I space out because I constantly allow my mind to slip away into thoughts that consume my consciousness for the time being.

Aside from this habit hurting my productivity, I realize a similar impulse of mine also harms my relationships in life. My mind can be both my best friend and my greatest enemy. Lately, it has been the latter. I’m not sure if this is just a natural tendency for women, or if I have deeper issues to blame, but my mind often decides to deceive me. I frequently find myself doubting and second-guessing people’s intentions. For example, my boyfriend has chosen an extremely demanding career path: medical school. He is often too busy to call or text as often as I’d like throughout the day, and instead of accepting that he really has no ulterior motives, I let my active mind run away with all the horrible possibilities it can think of. I assume he just doesn’t care about me, or that he has better things to do, or that he just doesn’t think of me as much as I think of him. These insecurities start out small, but once my mind gets going with these thoughts, things get out of hand rather quickly. Small insecurities become big problems, which lead to hurtful fights.

So how do you cope if you find yourself in this situation? Here are 3 simple steps to try:

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