I’m sorry for not writing as often lately.
And for not producing all the content I planned on making available.
I’m sorry I don’t stick to my schedule, of writing, creating, promoting, scheduling, plus parenting, loving, teaching, and working, studying…
I’m sorry because I work too much yet don’t work enough.
I’m sorry I sometimes take too much on.
I’m sorry when I think I’ve inconvenienced you.
And I’m sorry for being sorry.
Sometimes it seems I’m just apologising for being. Or am I apologising to myself? I don’t know. I know that I apologise too much, my husband tells me that. But why? Maybe it’s because I think I’m the one owed an apology, or is it because I think saying sorry will make up for where I’m lacking? Probably both.
What is the purpose of “sorry”? It’s sometimes disregarded as a common British thing to do- as if it’s so common it’s lost it’s meaning and become a word that is used redundantly in conversation.
Let’s read googles’ definition of sorry: 1.feeling sad or distressed through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune., 2.feeling regret or penitence., 3.in a poor or pitiful state.
I’m feeling all kinds of sorry right now. And this isn’t always a bad thing. Sympathy for others is good. Regretting and repenting from bad actions is good. Feeling sorry for yourself, perhaps not so good though sometimes acceptable.
But we already knew what sorry meant, right? We have an understanding of all three definitions. But they don’t just stand as three separate meanings, they’re intricately connected. One reason for being sorry can induce another. Sympathy can evolve into guilt and self pity. Guilt can turn into helplessness. This is why we should be careful about embracing this feeling of “sorry”; in order to not get stuck in self pity and helplessness. One way this might manifest is in overuse of the word itself. How often do you say sorry, perhaps unnecessarily?
Think about how these feelings stop you from being productive. Do you become consumed with the suffering of others so much that it hinders any action being taken? Do you drown in guilt to the point that it becomes part of a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, meaning you feel so bad about making the same mistakes so you resign to the idea that you will always make them, convincing yourself you can’t change so that you don’t even try?
So how do we protect ourselves from this cycle and become more productive? We must learn to not get attached. We have to ground ourselves in consciousness of God and strive to look at everything through a temporary lens. A lens that actively acknowledges, accepts and appreciates the Wise attribute of our Lord, Al-Hakim (The Wise), which reminds us that we don’t have to fully understand everything that happens, and that it will be OK. When we are conscious of the ultimate Judgement of God, Al-Hakam (The Judge), feelings of sympathy wont debilitate us because we know everyone will get what they deserve (good and bad) in the end. If we truly know His unconditional provision and mercy, as Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem (The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful), we’re able to not let penitence consume us, because He takes care of us even when we are disobedient and He loves to forgive. To be constantly aware of the Qadr (prewritten destiny) of Allah results in satisfaction with our choices because we know that choice and its outcome is created only by the permission of Allah.
First we must know God and be conscious of Him in our lives. Then we can start being less sorry about the world and ourselves, and more productive.
Want to learn more about the attributes of God? Access a free printable about the names of Allah and how to acknowledge Him in your life through the Resources page.
Want to keep reading? Read How To Seek Knowledge In Islam.