She said it three times within a few minutes as I asked for papers that not two minutes before I'd given back to her and said I was finished with. It was me who needed to apologize. Three separate pages, three separate "I'm sorry's".
The paperwork got sorted out and she went on her way. I sat there and thought about our reputation as Canadians to apologize for things that aren't ours to own. If I accidentally bump into someone in a store they are most likely to apologize and I've found myself doing the same thing many times. Apologizing for being in the way of someone who isn't watching where they are going is ridiculous.
While other people might need to learn to stop apologizing and realize when they are right, I have most needed to learn how to say, "I could be wrong." At first it was really hard to get those words out of my mouth as I had prized myself on being right about most everything. Even when I was wrong I was still right in my mind. Dearest one and I would be talking about the most mundane things and I had to learn that my opinion was not necessarily fact.
It took a while for me to believe I could be wrong. Every so often now when it rolls off my tongue (not that it only rolls off my tongue every so often, more like daily) but, once in a while when I hear myself using that phrase, I am amazed that I came to own it and believe it; that I came to be at peace about being wrong. And there are times when I don't want to say it, don't believe it possible. Of course there are. But that it's not my default setting is nothing short of miraculous. Really.
These are the kind of changes that make me teary. The kind of changes that are impossible to make on my own strength. I didn't learn this in church. During most of the last 20 years of being in faith communities I learned to stand firm in my rightness. No, I learned to accept that I could be wrong, am often wrong, through the fellowship of AA. Through working the 12 steps. Through watching people who I admire in the fellowship conduct themselves with a humility that is impossible to possess if they are expending all their energy in being right. I wanted what they had. I still do.