Apology Unaccepted

I am beginning to despise the words “I’m sorry.

Not, of course, when they come from a place of humility, of admitting wrong doing or hurt caused.  In actuality we could use more of this type of modest recognition.  More confessions of screw-ups regardless – or in spite of – the intent from which they were formed.

But what we have in its place is far too much excusing.  A littering of apologies thrown about as if they grant permission to be, do or aspire to less.  They come out as disclaimers, prefacing statements that attempt to qualify our position.  They’re used so liberally, so haphazardly, that the words really couldn’t mean anything less.

Because here’s my take on those knee-jerk apologies, like when a client gives up mid-workout and looks at me and says “I’m sorry,” as if letting me down is easier to bear than finishing their reps:  That apology is not issued at me, but towards themselves, although they’re typically far from aware of it.  Because they – not me – are the ones who lose when their effort is less than 100%.

This is why whether in or out of the gym we must own every ounce of our actions and behaviors. Own them as if they are our offspring that we produced, nurtured and cultivated, because – well, hell – they are.  If you are acting from a place of utter honesty, representing yourself and your views should never require an apology.   It should never require compromising out of fear of doing harm.

If it does, then you owe it to yourself to take some inventory.  Because either the values you’re calling your own don’t truly resonate with you (hence the “sorry” sent inward) or the people you’re presenting them to don’t fully accept you for who you are.   Either way, you must remind yourself that your circumstances should never require explanation.  You’ll know a true support system is present when your purpose can be communicated without ever saying a word.

So here’s to more conversations that begin with an unspoken “I’m not sorry” as their preamble.  As in there is nothing here to forgive – just a person, a prerogative to respect.  Because everyone deserves to feel the freedom of living a life without disclaimers.  Of living a life you love and that you’re not the least bit sorry for.

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