Thankfully Sorry: Working On Overcoming False Guilt

Recently, I read a post that stated instead of apologizing for what we consider to be our faults that we should be putting gratitude in the atmosphere. For instance, instead of saying 'sorry for talking so much', we should say, 'thank you for listening'

The act of apologizing is an admittance of doing something wrong. 

Many times in my life I have apologized for what I considered to be sharing too much emotionally, I have apologized for being too energetic, I have apologized for offering help and assistance to others, I have apologized for laughing too loudly, I have apologized for taking up too much space....I spent too much time apologizing for being me. 

I have been guilty of having false guilt. Yes, you read that right. Guilty of having false guilt. 

False guilt is  a fun trait we pick up over time, that we customize and hold on to as a learned response. It is an unreasonable emotion and unhealthy response to a situation that we feel we should be able to better although it is not our responsibility. It is us internalizing and blaming ourselves for a situation that is not in our control, and the false guilt makes us feel bad and leads us down a rocky road of holding on to unnecessary pain  and apologizing needlessly. Ultimately, it is up to us to figure out what truly is a legitimate guilt and false guilt and how we can deal with distinguishing between the two. 

Our souls will obviously feel convicted by true guilt of something we did, or didn't do, or hurt someone whether intentional or not. But the false guilt I am referring to....is us feeling bad or apologizing for stuff we cannot control or being our genuine selves. 


"Sorry Jo, I didn't realize it would be raining when we scheduled our hike."  

How silly is it to apologize for a rainy day to a friend when you were supposed to spend time outside? It is circumstances out of our control, yet sometimes we feel compelled to make a statement, an apology, we want to take ownership of a situation even...if it isn't our circus with the monkeys running around like crazy. 

No doubt, there are times when we will feel vulnerable, we will feel exposed, we will show what we think is 'too much' of our emotions....and we will immediately apologize. We will apologize for crying when our heart is broken instead of saying thank you for being here. There will be times that we apologize for venting instead of thank you for listening. There will be times where we apologize for not being enough instead of expressing gratitude to those who believe in us, encourage us and hold us accountable. 

So....why apologize for moments in life that we cannot control? Or even, moments we can control but feel shamed because we do not accept that it is okay to share our feelings?

Those in our lives who love us, don't want or need what in the end turns out to be empty, baseless apologies. 

They do not want us to apologize for us being us. 




They want to love us and be with us. 

I have been working on retiring inappropriate sorries in my vocabulary for a while. Some days I struggle, some days I don't quite know what to say so I stumble over my words to those who know and love me...but I am getting there. At least I am finally in a part of my journey where I realize that I do not have to apologize for taking up space.  Those in my life who accept me, that know me, that love me....do not want apologies-they want to see me grow. My soul knows that those who deserve my time and company accept that I am learning to love myself, that I will make mistakes, and that I do not need to tread precariously while on this hike of self-awareness.

If I tried to list all the times I have unwarrantedly apologized, this list would never end and we would be here for months on end. Neither you, dear reader, or myself want that. Instead of focusing on the time I have lost putting regret into the world I much rather focus on the future and putting gratitude where it is due....which, is everywhere. 

So thank you. Seriously, thank you for being here over the last couple years. 

Thank you for reading my words. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for being brave enough to think differently. Thank you for accepting you have worth. Thank you for working on recognizing your worth if you are not quite there yet. Thank you for still being here.  Thank you for being you. 

Comments

  1. You're right, we fall back on "I'm sorry" far too much. And another downside is that, like any other statements we overuse, when we use it and actually mean it, it's lost much of its power.

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