>Yankee Stadium… Naked

“…I love you… I am now so sorry. I am aware of how my behavior and my choices could have appeared to you and been experienced by you as betrayal. Please forgive me.”

These were the words of Iyanla Vanzant to Oprah on her show last week.

Oprah’s response? “You are already forgiven”

Oh, soooo many things I could say on so many levels about this episode… but I will focus on one. Let’s talk about apology.

I know. You’re afraid that when you apologize, you’ll be seen as weak, or wrong, or something equally unthinkable. And human. Sooooooo… rather than acknowledging your mistake and snuggling with your partner tonight, you’ll be sulking. Alone. Pretending to be busy on the computer, watching TV, or something – but really you’re sitting alone and wondering if the couch you’re sitting on is where you’ll sleep tonight. Alone. Hm.

Let’s face it, apologizing can make you feel like you’re singing the national anthem… at Yankee Stadium… on opening day… naked… And probably holds just as much appeal. But in front of an international viewership of a few gazillion people, Iyanla did just that; she laid out her barenaked heart, for Oprah to do with what she liked. She was completely vulnerable.

What did she think Oprah would do? Because that’s the key – if you’re like most folks, your ideas about what happens to you when you’re vulnerable are rooted in how your family treated each other.

When you were a kid, how was blame laid out in your family? Did your parents typically yell, maybe call names? Wouldn’t it make sense that you’d be slow to acknowledge fault as an adult? Did the adults around you get quiet, shut you out when they were upset; sweep it under the rug? Wouldn’t it make sense that you’d be at a loss for words with which to apologize as an adult?

Iyanla spoke about her recovery, and her fears that kept her from personally approaching Oprah for over 11 years. So what is it for you? What keeps you from saying, “honey, I’m so sorry…” to one little person, in the comfort of your own living room? Think about it.

Ask yourself-

What do I fear will happen if I am vulnerable?

What makes me afraid of that?

How likely is that to actually happen? (is it a fear rooted in the past, or the present)

Once you know what you’re afraid of, tell your partner about what you need to feel safer. For example, if your partner has historically cut off your apologies with a snappish ‘whatever’ or related comment, try saying, “Honey, I have to tell you something, and I really need you to hear me out.”

Once you apologize, you will both feel better; and now you can get in some quality snuggle time. You totally deserve it.

Here’s the 2-minute link, in case you’ve missed it: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Iyanla-Vanzant-Apologizes-to-Oprah-Video


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