The two hardest words

I don't like to admit it when I'm wrong. I believe that comes with the desire to be perfect. I've always pushed myself to give 110% and I take pride in that. However, there's a difference between giving 110% to a project, where a semi-definable resolution is attainable, and personal relationships, where there isn't really a course of action to define the start and finish line.

Due to the nature of this difference, I sometimes find myself disappointed in the behaviors of others, or my own reactions to others' behaviors, because they are out of my control. There is no mock-up to consult about how the situation is supposed to go down. There's no undo feature to reverse my offense and get the encounter back on the "proper" course. I simply cannot control others' behaviors.

Attention Deficit 

If I'm not paying attention, not staying mentally aware, in some circumstances, I can't even control my behaviors and reactions. I behave in such a way that can be hurtful to others. Despite my best intentions at putting all the positive energy I can into the universe, I am still human. I will never achieve perfection, and sometimes I will forget to pay attention. I will act on those emotions I can't control. 

So then what? 

My predominant reaction to being at fault in the past has always been to put up a wall, both to protect myself from having to admit fault, and the person that I have harmed from the potential that I may do it again. 

However, I am coming to learn that the wonderfully Small Act of simply admitting my fault and saying I'm sorry is an incredibly powerful healing tool. That's not to say there aren't two sides of the story, and that I don't deserve an apology too, but I am only responsible for myself. By taking the courage and energy to admit my wrong-doing in the situation and apologize to that person, I am already free of the guilt and anxiety I would have normally used to build a very strong wall around my heart. 

The wall is crumbling

I am learning to tear down that wall before it gets too big and weighs me down. Sharing my Small Acts makes me think twice. If I keep that wall up, it's going to inhibit me from helping others and sharing love and gratitude.

I woke up this morning with this wall forming as a result of my reaction to a situation out of my control the previous night. I knew this was going to impede me, as it has done, so many other mornings. I asked myself how I was going to respond this time, as I am so tired of that mental pattern. I thought about what I'm trying to accomplish with these Small Acts, and I turned to my daily inspiration reader. The quote below moved me to understand that it's not worth holding on to this grief over past actions, and to promptly admit my faults and apologize - without the expectation that I would receive an apology in return. Immediately, the wall crumbled. I was free to enjoy my day and burn brightly. 

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
— George Bernard Shaw