It’s more than family and close friends who’ve got ‘less than they deserved’ from me. I’ve behaved poorly, been self-centered, and failed to focus attention when and where it was most needed. I cannot speak for other men – I only know my behavior has been far from ideal. Not horrid, but too often not helpful or friendly or kind or considerate of those I should have been more helpful to, sympathetic to, and considerate of – translation: everyone.
I wish I’d been better, showed more consideration, more empathy – most of all, wish I hadn’t made so much of everything about me, rather than about you.
I need to struggle more.
This confession and apology – not written for everyone – for my late mother, my daughters, and for their mother too, could easily include many others.
I will, as we all do, get the results I deserve in all things, and in all relationships. If I want to own a better result, I also need to wear the shame and responsibility of my half-measures and failures.
I could disguise this as a letter to the universe, or some nameless party – but the truth is, this is a letter to my daughter.
In dealing with and understanding you – I plan to do better.
Confession, apology, commitment to do better, making amends, or mea culpa?
Yes, it’s about you – not me.
I get it.
I am sorry.
Past our youth, most of us learn that we don’t get knowledge, forgiveness, and understanding by asking for it – we get those things by earning them, deserving them, and working hard for them – and even then, there is no guarantee we’ll get what we seek. Inevitably, most of us get what we deserve.
We don’t always deserve what we get in any particular activity, but in this game of life, most people get what they deserve.
Most of all – I’ve learned, and hopefully not too late, my daughters are daughters. Sure, they are women about whom I could generalize and rationalize and promise to treat them better. But first, last, and always, they are daughters. My daughters, and they’ve deserved more of me.
You’ve reminded me that actions speak volumes, and words are only words.
Actions and words don’t solve everything, but we cannot solve anything without them.