Love means…

I’ve started using the cable music channel with soft instrumentals for background in the RV while I work. Today I heard the sappy theme song from Love Story. I wrinkled my nose and wondered how many of my generation got twisted by that movie.

In my opinion, the Hippie Chip* that my generation came with is a source of a lot of dysfunctional thinking. It could be a blog series. But today my focus is on the apology theme and how our view was shaped by the 60’s.

I remember the movie and I remember the incredibly sad scene where Jenny lies dying in the hospital. Then the encounter with Oliver and his father where he quotes Jenny and says, Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Does it?

What does love have to do with it? Seriously!

Love or not, I have to say it. I want to say it even more when I’ve hurt or upset someone I love. In my closest relationships I can barely stand it until I get my side of the wrongs on the table. Sometimes, however, I don’t realize I have wronged someone until the end of the day.

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? ~ AA p 86

The Twelve Step recovery program advises reviewing our day each night. Looking for wrongs we’ve committed is part of the inventory process. We dredge it all up from the graves of our soul when we do the Step 4 inventory and then nightly for the rest of our lives, if we take recovery seriously and follow the suggested AA program by the book. It becomes as habitual as brushing the hair from my eyes. I clear the hair from my vision automatically and I remove the logs from my eye when I’ve wronged others just as reflexively.

This is something I’ve learned from the Old Timers. They don’t wait until day’s end to clear up issues, do they? They take care of their side of the street just as soon as issues crop up. The longer something lies in the gutter, the more rank it becomes.

We needn’t wallow in excessive remorse before those we have harmed, but amends at this level should always be forthright and generous.~ 12X12 p 86

The only provision for not making complete amends is when that full disclosure might cause undo harm to others. It seems pretty basic. I hurt someone. I apologize. Why wouldn’t I? As tilted as most addicts are, we usually can see the benefit to ourselves and others when it comes to keeping our side of the street clean.

Whether I love you or I just have a casual acquaintance with you–either way I need to say I’m sorry.

There’s only one exception:

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.~ AA p 59

For me, love does not mean never having to say I’m sorry.

Debbie has a good series here on the same topic:Forgive and Forget

*Hippie Chip is what I call the auto implant of hippie-think in flower children