Too often I find myself apologizing for things out of my control or things that are not even my fault. I’m a people pleaser and I’ve always been this way. As a child, I can remember blaming myself for no reason. Even in adulthood, I’ve avoided confrontation at my own expense. With that blame, comes stress and pressure to make things right.
But what if you can’t make things right?
As an adult, I’ve come to realize that I can’t control all of the things that happen in my life, but I can control how I respond to them. After some tough life lessons and pretty blatant red flags, I’m here to say, “Sorry, not sorry!”
5 Things I’m not sorry for
- Crying: Or any of my feelings. I cry with just about every emotion. It’s not a sign of weakness. Crying for me is a release of whatever hold is upon me. It shows sympathy. I refuse to apologize for having feelings and reacting to those emotions.
- Knowing what I want: A big part of any relationship is knowing what you need from the other person and expressing those needs in a respectful way. We cannot expect others to read our minds and certainly cannot get upset when we just assume they know how we feel without properly having expressed those things. It’s ok to know what you want, be firm in those desires, and not settle for less than what satisfies you. I won’t apologize for my human desire to be fulfilled.
- Someone else’s actions: It’s not your fault. And just one more time, so I might hear it a bit better, “It’s not your fault!” How someone else responds to a situation isn’t about you. They may take it out on you, but hear me when I say it’s not about you! You didn’t drive that wedge, you didn’t push them, they are responsible for their own actions. Stop trying to take the fall for someone who isn’t willing to own their mistakes. And know that person may never take responsibility for their actions. Holding onto it will only hinder your growth and desire to be better, not bitter. This one took a long time and lots of heartache, but once I came to truly believe this, I’m telling you my life changed!
- My mistakes: I’m human and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes.Those mistakes have led me to where I am now and have taught me lots of things along the way. Show yourself some grace and stop being so hard on yourself. I won’t apologize for my mistakes, I will learn from them and carry on.
- My past: I cannot go back. I cannot change what happened. I can learn from those things and move forward differently to avoid repetition of history. Letting your past consume you and control your emotions is defeating and honestly, pretty pointless. Leave it in the past and move forward. I am.
Learning to not be sorry for these things has taken some time and lots of self-reflection. Taking responsibility for my own actions is important. Knowing the difference between what I can control and what I cannot control has proven to be just as important.
Once I learned these things, my life changed. I stopped living in the past and constantly replaying situations in my mind of what I should have, could have, and would have done or said differently. I let go of the things I couldn’t control and with that came freedom. I’m no longer chained down by regret. It was a breath of fresh air and weight off my shoulders.
The only thing I will apologize for is not realizing these things sooner.