By the time you read this post today, you may well have apologised for something you didn’t need to; you almost certainly will have had unwarranted apologies from others.
~ I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar a bit
~ Sorry about the mess
~ Sorry I’m just in my comfies
~ Sorry about the kids
~ Sorry I look tired today
~ Sorry I’ve not been posting much
~ Sorry I’ve not done my face yet
~ Sorry for the holiday spam
Ever stopped to think about the effect of repeatedly excusing yourself in this manner on your internal personal balance?
Whilst it may appear to be harmless enough, apologising for things we don’t need to unknowingly creates an unexamined cultural norm of skipping over the untidy reality of life as something we should be sorry for.
Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. If we are willing to explore our shadows, we can raise our awareness of contributors to our personal imbalances. In doing so, we can affect the collective balance of society.
Saying sorry is a conditioned response we learn during childhood for things we do ‘wrong’ or the mistakes we make. We hold up our hands with the hope of gaining trust and acceptance; if I show you I’m sorry for this, you will accept me again.
In Britain especially, it is also inherent with politeness.
It’s illogical to champion the next generation to be authentically themselves whilst also apologising for elements of our lives that are authentically us but we’ve not quite accepted yet. We say “be real, but not that real, just give the illusion of real.”
As we unconsciously apologise, our bodies respond to the data received: a mistake has been made, there is something to be sorry for, regardless of whether that is true or not. In turn, we can feel we need to prove our self or seek approval. Even if barely detectable, traces of regret, shame, or guilt can be experienced as we biochemically react.
In effect, we are apologising for being human, for our normality, for our life and the way it appears to be.
Saying Sorry Is More About Us Than Others
As you know, I am all for exposing the low-level energy drainers that incrementally affect our lives. So what is the backstory of our sorry syndrome?
If we are present enough to notice and perhaps examine the silent intentions behind our trivial apologies, we may find that it’s really more about us than others.
What does the possible opinion of others over the mess in the picture you just posted matter?
What does it matter others see you in your gym gear when you bump into them first thing whilst running an errand?
By not apologising, do we fear that others will think we don’t see the ‘fault’ in question? At least if we excuse it, we will save our self from what we think they will think about it?
In apologising without cause we are being unfairly judgmental of our self and rarely is it warranted.
Instead of Sorry
Simple awareness will address the balance. When you catch yourself about to apologise, pause, and ask if it is in response to anything that actually warrants being sorry in the first place.
Where it works, trade apologies for appreciation! Thank people for waiting, as opposed to apologising for your lateness.
If you find yourself absolutely needing to excuse something, take a moment to examine what part of you needs to say sorry. Are you sorry or do you just want to appear sorry to save yourself from rejection?
When we stop excusing our reality it no longer appears to us as something to be sorry for.
What’s left is our ruggedly beautiful authentic life. Dare to leave some stuff unsaid this next week or two and see what evolves.