Words are seeds, they grow into beliefs, actions and become our reality.
A while ago, my mentor shared something I found incredibly valuable and I decided to implement immediately. He said change your words. Stop apologising, start thanking. Here are a few examples:
- Sorry I am late -> Thank you for waiting
- Sorry for being sensitive -> Thank you for being accepting of me
- Sorry I messed up -> Thank you for being patient even though I made a mistake
- Sorry I talked so much -> Thank you for listening to me
- Sorry I took so much time -> Thank you for being so patient with me
It’s the same situation, only difference is the different perspective and choice of words. I think we use the word ‘sorry’ so often that we lose the true meaning of the word. And when we are actually sorry for something, we don’t really mean it.
There are times when I really do want to let the other person know that I am sorry. Like when I haven’t taken quality time for my mom, partner, close family and friends. But if I am used to saying sorry too often and sometimes with the same people, they might feel that I don’t really mean it when I really do want to mean it.
I always remind myself that once the words come out of my mouth, I can never take them back. There are so many times when I am tempted to give unsolicited advice, add a few words of criticism, make fun of someone but I try to remind myself that if it’s not useful or beneficial to the other person, I must not say them.
I must admit, I am not always successful in keeping words to myself. In those circumstances, the best thing to do is to offer a sincere apology. Saying sorry like I meant it.
Here is a Swamiji video on mindful choice of words.