Category Archives: Miracles and Wisdom

Because they do happen…
Wisdom I’ve learned…

The Power of An Apology

Power of Apology

In deleting old emails I was reminded what the power of words can do in healing distressed and broken hearts. As I was going through all my saved emails from all the rescue organizations I’ve been a part of since 2011, I was reminded what the simple words of an apology can mean to another person or persons.

The small backstory from my latest momentous apology came when the people who I thought I known showed their true characters. Once that character was revealed on all sides – my heart told me to reach out to the people whom I wronged earlier. I did it immediately. Yes – I was scared to write the apology. I remember my hands shaking, my heart pounding as I typed my words out, but I did it. Even a tear slipped by… Then I pushed the send button. Pride had nothing to do with me being apologetic at that moment in time. I felt truly bad that the people whom I had trusted betrayed my trust and made me believe the worst in the people I was apologizing to.

But what if you don’t want to apologize? That’s perfectly normal because I had an opportunity to apologize to someone earlier this year. My logical side reasoned it was better to leave the past in the past. As a friend and I were recently discussing this – there are some people you don’t need to apologize to because the wounds run so deep its better to leave the door closed, because that apology may open that door again when it should’ve remained closed.

Here’s my guidance on reaching out with an apology…

Trust your heart and instincts when it comes to apologizing. If it weighs heavy on your heart and mind – then apologize.

Attitude and heart go hand in hand when it comes to apologizing. Apologies must be given with a good heart combined with the right attitude. If your heart is not in it for the right reason then that person(s) you’re apologizing to will see through your words., as well as your attitude. Sincerity can be seen both through your actions and read into your words whether in person or in writing.

The timing of the apology means everything as well. When it comes to apologizing there is no time limit. It doesn’t matter if its minutes after the deed or months or years later – the apology still says that you are deeply sorry for what transpired.

Leaving someone speechless after you apologize means your apology did what it was intended. It was your spoken or written words that meant the world to that person and was probably a blessing in disguise they’ve needed.

So if you’ve got someone you need to apologize to – do it. Find the courage to say the words and mean them.

We all can learn from each other. If I can inspire you to reach out to apologize to someone you’ve wronged – no matter how long ago it was – then me sharing this has done what I hoped it would do. Rise above yourself. Take pride out of the equation and do the right thing because the words of an apology have tremendous healing. Never underestimate what the power of an apology can do or mean.

What happened after I pushed the send button? Emails were received back that made me cry. The simple words of my apology brought healing and recognition that I should’ve been listening to these people all along. I listened to my heart. Friendship(s) resulted from that apology and I deeply cherish those friends in my life.

Now – go make that apology.

 

Graphic – ©Christena Stephens

Borrowing from Sycily – Words of Wisdom

Sycily-Ed-B&W-imp

 

Tuesday’s are my most dreaded days because bad news always comes on these days. One Tuesday morning two years ago the world lost a beautiful person and I, in turn, lost a dear friend and mentor. Sycily Lattimore was 94 years young and hated being reminded of her birthday’s because in her mind it was how you acted that determined your age, not how many years you lived. When I first met her it was at the Mallet Ranch Headquarters in 2005. I knew when I saw the lady with the killer cane (with a silver duck handle), bow tie and Panama hat that I had to meet her. I boldly introduced myself and our friendship began. She became a fast supporter of my work on trying to save the Mallet Ranch Headquarters, as well as my Hunt research. Many times over our lunches or dinners our talks would be endless on various subjects. She often shared war stories her husband experienced being on the Bataan Death March to her mountain climbing days.

Sycily walked the vast halls of the Texas Capital with me visiting legislators’. Her personality opened doors and hearts that never would’ve been opened had she not been with me. The DPS officers’ got to know us so well we struck up random conversations and soon knew some by name and often some would escort us to our next destination within the capital. I learned a lot of political savviness from her walking those hallways.

She wholeheartedly attended my West Texas Historical Association presentation on my first Hunt paper. She enthusiastically supported me writing the Hunt book, after our conversation with a fellow historian who had the original crime scene photos. Fate she always said intervenes when God wants it too. Our long talks on the murders gave me new ideas and insights with new angles to research, as well as theories.

I learned so much from her. What I borrowed from her changed my life for the better. Ignore your birthday. Always be kind. Always give even the worst people the benefit of the doubt – until they prove you wrong. Then don’t fool with them at all. Don’t waste food. Only eat food you enjoy. Cuss when it calls for it. Be a lover of history. Climb mountains. Always be nice to law enforcement. Always ask questions. Read. Read. Read. Read everything. Collect books and memories – not things. Keep in touch with friends near and far through phone calls and letters. My list could go on, but you get the idea that you must live life – not simply exist.

My life would have been less rich had I not been bold enough to walk up to a complete stranger and strike up a conservation that lead to a remarkable and unforgettable friendship and mentorship.

 

Photo taken at the Mallet Ranch Cottonwood Tank, Hockley County, Texas.

This photo was in the Borrowers exhibition at the Buddy Holly Center in 2017.

 

Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography