Simply Not Sorry
It's baffling to me how much we make unnecessary apologies on a regular basis. Just the other day I found myself apologizing to a random stranger for Theo peeing on the grass a few feet from where he was standing. The thing is, I do not have control over my puppy's bladder, nor do I need to apologize for his efforts to relieve himself on a nice, open patch of grass that said gentleman just happened to be loafing by.
What was I thinking?
Even more troubling are the ways we apologize for taking up space. Have you ever said "oh, sorry!" when someone accidentally bumps into you and it's totally not your fault whatsoever? I sure have! I can even remember times I've apologized to an inanimate object (like a door jamb) I thought was a person when I hit against it with the side of my hip. The list goes on...
I've been guilty of apologizing for lingering over certain veggies at the farmers market or grocery store and excusing my behavior to those around. Or raising my hand to ask a question and initially qualifying it with, "I'm sorry but..."
Who taught us we have to constantly be humbling ourselves to the point of ridiculousness? When were we inculcated with the belief that taking up space or enjoying the beauty of a farmers market spread is a crime? When did asking a question - be it clarifying or not - become something we had to first apologize for doing?
Certainly there are moments that call for a heartfelt sorry, but that's not what I'm referring to today. I'm talking about the ways we stay small, we excuse our wants, our desires, and our inner compass.
Women especially can fall victim to this weird state of excessive over-apology. And I've noticed it has been the men in my life (namely my husband) who have recently pointed out there's no need for constant sorries as I go about the day.
So if no one has reminded you lately, allow me: You have permission to be unapologetic in your pursuits. Your inquiries. Your deliberate gathering of items at the farmers market. There was a time when many women's voices were silenced. And taking up space, and inquiring about anything was frowned upon at best. And yes, while some of those memories are inherited from the women of our ancestry, we can now - with intention and awareness - break that patterning.
Moreover we can excavate and uproot the sneaky inner components of unnecessary apology. We can notice and then cut-out all the ways we feel sorry for ourselves for doing things we think we shouldn't (or not doing the things we "should") and accumulating guilt over the whole inner tumultuous mess.
The outer and inner humbling stops today. I'm taking a stand.
I hereby declare that I'm not sorry for my clumsiness as I bump into things and/or sometimes accidentally break glasses. I am not sorry for my love of gluten and raw dairy. I'm not sorry for my obsession with kundalini yoga (and the many mantras, pictures, and accoutrements that litter my home and may make family members uncomfortable).
I'm not sorry that I often take naps during the day and/or spend a lot of time working on slowing down enough to take darn good care of myself. I'm not sorry that I like to give generously of my income to causes I care about. I am not sorry that I read multiple books at once, savoring the interconnectedness of them all without concern for finishing them one at a time.
I am not sorry for choosing joy - even in the darkest of times. I'm not sorry for keeping promises to myself and others. I'm not sorry for asking questions, or being emotional, or taking my sweet old time on certain things, and moving really quickly on others. I am not sorry for exploring the width and depth of healing modalities that I love and teach.
Most of all, I'm not sorry for being me - for celebrating and living as I authentically am - and inviting others to never, ever be sorry for doing the same.
When we stop apologizing, we start authentically living. This beautiful authenticity allows us to spread our wings wider and fly further - freed from the shackles of hyper-vigilant concern for things that don't actually concern us. That freedom is a beautiful thing.
So, now it's your turn.
What declaration will you make to yourself when you stop apologizing and start authentically living? And more importantly, how great will it feel?