Something I’ve been often accused of is saying “Sorry” too much.
When I was younger, I thought “What a strange thing to be corrected on.” And felt even more “sorry” over-using “sorry!” UGH! After some self-reflecting, I’ve decided that the habit came from a very early time in my life when I was in pre-school, where you learn your first set of manners and rules of acceptable social interactions, and that saying “you’re sorry” was an acceptable way to appease any slight, error, or offense you made toward anyone for any reason that had seemed to correct or condemn you for any behavior they found distasteful.
In my nature, I have never been one who would ever want to cause the single smallest offense toward anyone, and even at a young age, I was this way and so I went about my childhood apologizing for anything and everything, though looking back, there were plenty of times that situations did not even warrant an apology, I just felt like it was the go-to answer to protect everyone’s feelings towards me – I wanted people to like me of course – yet no matter how many times I apologized, I remained unpopular, became a doormat, and even passively bullied when I reached high school.
No, no, this isn’t a therapy session for myself, this is a realization I had not too long ago.
My Main Man is the one who really dug into me about it (not as harsh as it sounds), but he simply asked, “Why do you apologize so much Even when there is no reason to?”
I had heard this question before, but often it was rhetorical, as if everyone had the answer and expected I did too, so there was no discussion and I usually ended those conversations with a sad shrug and an “I’m sorry,” before they metaphorically blew their brains out and made quick exits. I kept my head low and my self-respect lower, and later cursing myself for being socially awkward.
But this time with Main Man, I thought and thought and conversed with him, and drew correlation between this silly bad habit of mine and another flaw (oh yes, you get to see more of my bad side).
Not so often anymore, but I was notoriously known by close friends and family to have the wildest pity parties ever. Oh I can’t tell you how much food I gorged, how many movies I watched, how much bashing I’d do in my own private ways of my life and lack of boyfriends and best girlfriends. It was down right pathetic.
These days I just resort to a good old fashion cry and covet what I don’t have, so maybe less dramatic, but still pretty gnarly if I don’t slap myself quick enough out of it. I keep my head low and my self-respect lower, and later cursing myself for being a brat. And you know what else I’ll do? I’ll start apologizing to myself (maybe to Main Man for all the wailing and crying).
I know, right?! For what??
And I finally made a connection I wish I had connected long ago – this is what they mean when they say “feeling sorry for yourself.” You’re feeling pity and blame on your life for no real reason other than you’re not getting your way, life isn’t going as you wish it did, and you’re too busy with your head up Facebook’s news feed seeing everyone else’s engagement announcements, wedding pics, and instagram feed of their trip to Costa Rica. You’re feeling like you have to apologize to your own self for not being where you want to be.
I used to think I was apologizing to God in my tears, but I wasn’t really. I was just saying “sorry” out of a nasty habit in the false belief that it was the saving grace of any situation, including moments of pity and doubt. I have said “Sorry” too much to others for moments it wasn’t necessary, and I’ve said “Sorry” to myself too much for moments that there’s no reason, other than spending too much time regretting the past.
What an enormous waste. And I’m not going to apologize for it. I make mistakes and sometimes need correction, it doesn’t mean my character is necessarily flawed or wrong. I make mistakes and sometimes I need to brush myself off, or take an offered hand from a friend who helps me up again.
I’ve spent too many moments with my head hanging low with no self-respect, I’ve spent too many moments thinking that “Sorry” would solve my relationships and personal issues within my life, I’ve spent too many moments crying over mistakes made long ago, and over people who are no longer part of my season of life.
It’s time for me to stop feeling “Sorry.” It’s time to start feeling joyful about life, being humble and grateful for what I have, and keeping my eyes up and forward on the Author and Perfecter of my Faith.
I know I spent most of the time speaking about myself, but the title is really directed toward you, friend. What are you still apologizing for that you ought not be anymore? What moments are you wasting regretting a decision, or a mistake? Stop apologizing and thinking that will be the solution. All problems have a process and take time, and often good friends and family to sort it out. Saying you’re sorry is a starting point, but don’t leave it there to dwell on. Stand up and move forward from that five-letter word toward a better place. Whether it’s reconstructing a relationship, or grasping a better perspective on your own life. Whatever it may be, no more apologies.