Regret, Remorse, or Repent…What Can I Help You Do?

Repentance doesn’t wait for judgement. Sounds more like something a preacher would spout rather than something we would think about.

But, think about it. Have you ever wondered if someone’s “sorry” is nothing more than a cheap dismissal?

You know what I mean. Someone does you wrong. You confront them with it. They quickly say, “I’m sorry” and it holds just about as much value as when your mom told you to say you were sorry about something you had no feeling toward. You said, “sorry” but it cost you nothing.

Now you wonder when you are told “sorry” if there is any value in it or not?

Let’s look at that a minute.


When we regret something, it’s a decision of the mind. We recognize we stand to lose something we had before. Perhaps the good standing we hold, the trust that has been bestowed upon us, a relationship that is important to us, or the sense of honesty we all want others to hold toward us.

So, we regret the loss, try to lessen it or avoid it altogether, and we say, “Sorry.”


When we definitely embrace the wrong that we have done, either to ourselves or to others, we include the mind (as in REGRET) but we also include the heart.

Remorse is when we internalize the bad effect and realize our personal engagement in it. We own a sense of responsibility for the action taken. Even if we negotiate and minimize our part by blaming others, by pointing out their wrong doing, by insisting they are to share in the blame, we still have our part as well. Continue reading Regret, Remorse, or Repent…What Can I Help You Do?

Are You Condemning Me? Or Helping Me?

Condemn seems to be a word currently pushed into the halls of a temple, church building, or mosque in these days of “be different, stand out.”

But when we take the word out and look at it closely, we can learn somethings that might lead us to believe that when we mean to help, we’re really just condemning.

Merriam Webster Dictionary provides us with a definition that has to do with speaking strongly about wrong or bad things or persons; presenting a harsh punishment; or keeping someone in severe discomfort.

Let’s take up the latter of the three inferences.

Keeping someone in severe discomfort.

What does that look like to you when you are the one condemned? How do others keep you in severe discomfort? Sort of conjures up a scene of being trapped or caged in a damp, dark place without food or water. Continue reading Are You Condemning Me? Or Helping Me?

When People are Hurting, Not Helping

All of us have those friends that despite their good intentions, leave us in a worse condition than when they found us.

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, someone says, “Hey, we all die. Just adjust. You don’t need to be feeling so sad.” Spoken at the right time, that might be helpful, but spoken too early and we’re harmed, not helped.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote a seminal book entitled On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families published in 1969. Seminal in that it is the most quoted source for the five stages of grief she was able to compose for discussion.

  1. Denial and Isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

No matter who we are, or how closely we may be to that for which we grieve, we will either race through these stages in a matter of minutes or meander in our misery for months or decades or not get through them on all levels even if we spend a life time trying. Continue reading When People are Hurting, Not Helping

Getting On or Off The Track To Anger

Many people assume that anger is a primary emotion.

In common words, it seems acceptable to most people to go directly to anger from what ever trigger” might be presented.

If another driver cuts me off in traffic, I can move straight to anger.

I can describe that as, “That terrible driver made me angry!” And, many times that is accepted as a  valid response for an unprovoked, selfish random act that endangered me and the occupants of my vehicle.

But….where is the personal responsibility I have for my own feelings? Do I not have any control over my emotions. Am I to be directed by that driver and by that driver’s choices? I don’t like thinking that someone else can dictate the actions I take.

Of course I have responsibility. It’s not enough for me to say, “I’m angry because of what someone else did.” I must say, “I choose to be angry or I choose not to be angry.”

If I choose to be angry, then that’s on me! It’s complete irresponsibility to put it off on what someone else does to me. They may have supplied the trigger, but I’m the one who chose to pull the trigger.

Otherwise, I must walk around letting others control the actions I take. That’s like a child being utterly dependent upon someone else. It’s as far from a sense of independence and maturity of self as anyone can get. Continue reading Getting On or Off The Track To Anger