How many times have you said “I’m sorry” today? As defined by the dictionary, apologizing means “to express regret for doing or saying something wrong.” With that being said, how many times have you apologized for something beyond your control or just something you weren’t sorry for? My answer is plenty of times.
I cringe at the number of times I’ve moved out of someone’s way as they were walking towards me or immediately forced myself into a smile whenever my distress was noticed. Apologizing is more than the two words “I’m sorry.” Apologizing can be a physical or mental feat. How many times do we shrink ourselves so that others are comfortable? Why do we apologize for excelling? Why do we apologize for just simply existing?
When my anxiety started to become an issue a few years ago, I used to apologize profusely to anyone that would listen. Part of me was hurting, but my need to make room for others took priority. “I’m sorry” is just the beginning. We excuse pieces of ourselves that are the most special. We erase ourselves.
Inclusivity often means hiding what makes you special. Not everyone needs to be included. Not everyone should have to say sorry.
The next time you are shamed for being who you are, or being encouraged to be sorry…well, don’t. Unless you’ve caused harm towards something or someone, I just don’t see the point. The truth is, someone is always going to be disappointed or upset with you or the way you live life. We are not built to please and we shouldn’t have to.