A few weeks ago I made a conscience effort to remove a certain phrase from my everyday language. A phrase I noticed I was saying way too often. A phrase that instantly changed my attitude. A phrase that came with darkness. A phrase that could turn my entire day upside down. That phrase is “I’m Sorry.”
The first reason I stopped saying this phrase was because I was saying it all.the.time. Some days it felt like I was saying it around the clock. It became my go-to, an almost automated response. It easily became second nature for these words to just roll off my tongue. The second and BIGGEST reason I stopped saying it was because I noticed, when I said it, whether I was truly guilty or not it brought this enormous weight of guilt upon me. A guilt that physically brought me down and broke me down.
If I am being perfectly honest I have been carrying around feelings of guilt for far too long-not just weeks or months, but I am talking YEARS! I can remember being very little, maybe 5 or 6, and feeling guilty. I don’t know why, I just did. Thinking back and reflecting on this new realization, I don’t know that I ever had feelings of being care-free, even as a young child. As the years went on the guilt grew-not purposely, or intentionally by any means-I think I just grew up in a family where guilt was normal. Something was always happening, there was always drama-combine that with the instability that occurred on an almost daily basis and that is the perfect concoction for a guilt filled childhood and adolescence. Not to mention the awkwardness of high school, the pressure of college, and then the reality of becoming a mom of not one, but 3 little boys certainly added to the guilty feelings.
Being on this latest path to working on and bettering me, and making sure that I am being taken care of includes not only my physical health but also my mental and emotional health I experience and feel on a daily/hourly/momentary basis. So for me, removing this simple, yet debilitating (to me) phrase has been crucial. It is part of a conscience and willful effort each and every day that I make to remove all things toxic from my life. If it doesn’t bring me happiness, if it doesn’t uplift me, or if it isn’t constructive than I need to reevaluate having it in my life-even for something as simple as a phrase! No longer saying “I’m sorry” has directly had an impact on lifting me up-mentally, emotionally, spiritually-in every way possible. It has been a game changer for the way I live and move through my daily life!
Don’t get me wrong-there are times when it is definitely necessary to apologize to others-especially when you are the one in the wrong. There’s something to be said for carefully and skillfully admitting when you are guilty and acknowledging your wrong doing. That is a completely different topic-for another day. That’s NOT what this blog post is about.
This blog post is about letting go of the guilt for the little things. The things and events that can’t be helped, or avoided, or rearranged, or planned for. The things that in all honestly can’t fixed by you in any way, shape, or form. That is the stuff I want us to stop apologizing for. The office is out of creamer? Stuck in traffic because of an accident and now you are going to be late? Your kid takes his water in a mismatched re-usable water bottle because you ran out of water bottles? Missing a sports practice because in all honesty if you had to add one more thing to your plate that day your brain would have exploded? You ran out of diapers or shampoo or toothpaste, or soap, or even worse-toilet paper? I know in our house there are 4 other sets of eyes and 4 other sets of hands using these same items that I do. I am not the only one who can acknowledge when we have used the last toilet paper roll, or the last squeeze of toothpaste and it is time to buy more. It’s the little things like these. The events and things that can’t be helped, or avoided, yet they still happen. Well guess what? It happens! it’s called life, and you don’t need to apologize for it! These little set-backs will continue to happen regardless if I take on the responsibility or carry the guilt for not keeping on top of the toilet paper roll count in our house! And that mismatched re-usable water bottle? It’s better for the environment than a plastic water bottle anyway-so good for you mom!
The past few weeks of working on me have truly been eye opening.
I know this is just the beginning of my journey, but I am already seeing a happier, lighter, healthier, calmer side to myself that I don’t think I have ever seen.
I love this experience and walk of life I am on right now.
I want to be the best that I can be for my children, for my husband, for all of those friends and family that we love so much.
I want to live life with a purpose. I want to be intentional in all that I do.