If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?- Author Unknown
I am gonna get straight to the point: I am so tired of hearing the phrase I’m sorry that I don’t know what to do.
When I started writing this, it was around 11:40AM (PST). By then, I heard “I’m sorry” a total of eight times.
I walked into the office and held the door open for someone who was not far behind me. They began to walk faster and once they walked through the door, they muttered “I’m sorry,” and hustled up the stairs.
If I turn the corner at the same time someone is coming in the opposite direction, the person always says, “I’m sorry,” and hurries past me, their head hanging down.
I handle it well most of the time.
There are times when I want to grab a person by their shirt, shake them vigorously and say “DON’T BE SORRY!” but, that’s just crazy.
Ok, ok…I empathize. There was a time when I did not know words have power. I was a young jawn hanging out with my dad and I said “I’m sorry” over something that did not require an apology. “Don’t be sorry,” he said. “You were not born to be sorry.”
Did I ever believe I was sorry? The easy (and ego filled) answer is no- followed by some BS about how I am so great and blah blah blah. The thoughtful and honest answer is yes- there have been times when I felt a lot of shame about who I was and my experiences. Early on in life, I felt that what I perceived as bad events were my fault. It was not until years after my dad shared that wisdom (and his sister did the same) that hearing the phrase “I’m sorry” about started triggering something in me. When my son says it, I give him the same wisdom my dad and aunt gave me: “You were not born to be sorry”. My hope is that he understands the powers of words- the words he uses in conversation with himself and the world.
Words have power. Think about the warmth a genuine compliment brings, or the sting of malicious criticism. When we’re feeling hurt, we say things that will upset the person we believe is hurting us- I know I do. “Sorry” denotes being in a pitiful state or condition. “Pitiful” sounds worse than sorry, doesn’t it? I feel the words we speak over ourselves have more power than the words we project outward. As we affirm, we are planting seeds within ourselves. These seeds eventually reflect how we see ourselves and predict how others see us. What is the image you want the world to see? More importantly, what is the image you see of yourself?
My hug with a rock attached: stop being sorry about dumb shit! “I’m sorry” is a tree that bears no yummy fruit. None. Trust me.