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The motivation to say 'sorry'

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:32 am
by carlojuan77
I ran into a conflict with my mom recently and saw myself reacting again to old mind patterns and egoic behaviours. I have my own POVs as to why she is wrong, and I am right, etc., why she SHOULD be the one to apologize and not me(lot of ego there). All these mental concepts and reasons as to why I am right, feels so tempting and alluring to again be trapped in unconsciousness and I've been there for quite some time. The problem is that, I want to know where the motivation to apologize to my mom (even though I know I have valid viewpoints as to why I am right and why she is wrong) would come from so as to restore peace in the family again.

In other words, if you have been wronged and see no evidence of having done wrong to the other person, how could you muster up the courage and swallow your pride to apologize and say sorry for the sake of only restoring the relationship? Obviously, she is my mom so I'm stuck with her and don't have a choice of leaving her.

She is expecting and demanding an apology while every cell of my being screams "I didn't do anything wrong". I feel even angry that my mom is brandishing her being a mother as a power-play role and expects me to give up reasoning with her and just bow apologetically to her even though she is clearly in the wrong. In short, she does not own up to her mistakes and does not apologize at all! It's infuriating.

Fortunately, I know this is a chance for a deeper going into the Now, and increasing my consciousness and letting go of my ego. I just can't seem to see through all this fog.

Your insights will be greatly appreciated!

Re: The motivation to say 'sorry'

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:47 pm
by lmp
I often wanted my mother to look at herself, partly because it would have been good for her but also for our relationship and also I love to talk about these kind of things and I really liked her. The feeling I got was that it was difficult for her, she was not eager to understand new things, rather she would distract herself with some practical task almost immediately. Probably part of it was to avoid the feeling of discomfort from not being able to think things out. She had a simple outlook on life and did not reason a lot about her behaviour.

If it is a good idea to take 'part-ownership' of the cause of the problem, or indeed take the entire blame for it for the sake of peace between you, well, then sometimes why not. Why not could be that next time a similar situation comes up she has a memory of you confessing to a behavior she now may think that you have, but she will not know the real reason for why you said what you said. So instead of being angry with you she might now believe you capable of certain things that you actually would not do.

Unfortunately as we walk on different paths, the path being different values; different temperaments; different opinions; different beliefs; different knowledge etc. But also different work load, different sleeping habits and many many other factors - a lot of understanding is required and sometimes we cannot see why the other person behaves as they do and they cannot look at it themselves, so there is a stuckness of sorts and I think this is why you are asking your questions. Your mother may not be able to see what she is doing or why, it just seems evident to her that you must have done wrong somehow and she is upset about it, she has no real choice about it. As you have noticed when somebody does wrong but won't take the blame for it, it is fairly irritating.

Quite often when we feel that we are in need of help in a situation, like you are now, we end up realizing that we/you are actually the one best equipped to help the other who in fact need more help than you do. So perhaps, and I don't know that it's aplicable to your situation, when there is no coflict at all between you, try to find out a little bit about your mothers situation and her needs because her behaviour will be linked to how she feels she is entitled to be treated. What is important to her so to speak, respect, honnesty, rest, help in the kitchen etc. If what you find is reasonable and you can assist her a little perhaps her mood will soften and she will be more forgiving and accepting towards you in general? Often if we can come closer to each other when there is no conflict it builds up a better bond than if we only try to relate when some trouble needs to be sorted out.

Re: The motivation to say 'sorry'

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:00 pm
by lmp
"The problem is that, I want to know where the motivation to apologize to my mom (even though I know I have valid viewpoints as to why I am right and why she is wrong) would come from so as to restore peace in the family again."

For me, the specific answer to this question would be that I am fairly sensitive to wether the other person is suffering (lets say from being upset, unhappy) and if I can restore that for him/her, I most likely would. More can be said about it but in a way it is as simple as that.

Re: The motivation to say 'sorry'

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:32 pm
by Manyana
Hi carlojuan,

I would say something like "I am sorry we are having difficulties at the moment". You are then saying sorry for the two of you, because as you say in your post, some of the difficulty is in you also - the reactive stuff. I would also maybe lessen the time a bit that you spend with her, so as to get a bit more 'breathing space'.

Eckhart gives a very good answer below to someone having difficulty with her parents:

Re: The motivation to say 'sorry'

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 3:20 am
by carlojuan77
I guess the take-away I have gotten from all of this is that their behaviour is largely unconscious and as someone who is practicing presence I should be aware that they are acting out unconscious mind patterns and hence have compassion.

The problem is I do have compassion and I forgive her now.Really I do. But I know she is EXPECTING an apology...and that's the thing that kinda bothers me. I feel it. I feel her 'waiting' energy like someone who waits for you to say thank you once he or she has done something out of the ordinary. At the very least, I'm saying sorry just to restore the peace but I feel like I am just feeding her unconsciousness.

Re: The motivation to say 'sorry'

Posted: Fri May 01, 2015 10:46 pm
by EnterZenFromThere
I believe most of us put ourselves under enormous pressure to abide within the contexts of socially appropriate norms. We are trained from birth to believe that there are 'right' and 'wrong' ways of behaving. Most people go their entire lives without questioning this system of values - why it exists, whether it should be followed.

Your story reminds me of this system in action. You feel a pressure to obey a rule of law that has dictated your perception of right and wrong. Perhaps you feel resistance in this case because you don't want to unquestioningly follow the rules anymore. Maybe, as your mother was (probably) one of the most prominent figures in creating these rules within you, it isn't surprising you'd feel the most pressure when she is the one enforcing them.

Personally, I don't think our actions or inactions are anywhere near as important as the motivation that underlies them. If you apologise to someone primarily because you think you have to and that it is expected of you, that makes you a sheep - and, in my opinion, a coward. The kind of person who would have followed the crowd and joined the Nazi party when they rose to power. Obeying social conventions simply because they are conventions is utterly obscene and, in my eyes, a truly disgusting way of being.

The alternative, as I see it, is to consider why you feel such a pressure to conform. This pressure is pointing you to an aspect of yourself that, if it is allowed to reveal itself to you, can offer you much in terms of a growth of your independent potential.

If I were in your situation I would explore this and see what comes up. Whether I chose to apologise or not afterwards would be secondary. I might even consider deliberately not apologising to see how that would evolve the experience. Alternatively I might explore what apologising would be like to see if that felt more appropriate. From what you've said here, it sounds like you'd get more out of not apologising and exploring that pressure than by relenting to the pressure and apologising.

In my experience, depth of insight gained from behaviour > behaviour itself.