You know how every now and again, you'll read or hear something significant and you really 'feel it', in your bones? The other day, I heard Paul say something and it really hit a spot deep inside me:
Don't be an apology.
He wasn't saying 'don't apologise', he was saying, don't BE an apology. Gosh, I can really resonate with that.
There have been so many times in my life, when I've feared speaking my truth in case it challenges someone else's beliefs, or hurts them. In the times when I finally did pluck up the enormous courage required to speak my truth, I felt incredibly vulnerable and back-peddled easily when another person challenged my resolve.
The reason I have lived much of my life as an 'apology', is because I believed that other people's opinions, ideas and lifestyles were more important than my own. I would feel incredibly saddened when I didn't live to my own truth, but I told myself, 'at least I'm being a nice person'.
Bull shit. I was being a 'fake person'.
I'm learning more and more as I get older, that being an apology is detrimental to myself, my friendships, my loved ones, and even my customers ... because it reinforces that living a risk-free, people-pleasing life, is the only way to be happy.
In reality, we can never please everyone, so the only way to truly be happy is to follow our hearts and be courageous enough to sometimes rock the boat, in order to live our lives with integrity.
I honestly believe that living fiercely from the heart is the kindest way to be in the world.
My husband and I agreed years ago that it was more important to both of us to be honest with each other than to hide our truth, even if that sometimes meant that we might potentially hurt each other in the short-term. It's the most empowering feeling to have a relationship with another person, where you are completely free to be and express yourself, and not feel like an 'apology'.
I'm not saying that we act in ways that aren't mindful of each other - of course we are - it just means that we have enough respect for ourselves and each other to share our feelings with honesty, without making the other person wrong for being who they are. Occasionally we have a tail-between-the-legs moment when the other person shares a raw feeling, but it's our resolve to be honest and our true friendship that gets us through, every time.
Now, it is my turn to be that person in the rest of my life.
If I can be honest in all my relationships, I will know that the people who are still with me, are truly 'My tribe'. Whereas if I'm not being full who I am, hiding parts of myself in fear of judgement, then I will always feel uneasy and unworthy of love, because I'm not sharing my full self with others - or myself.
So, next time something I do doesn't go 'to plan', I can take full ownership for it, share it, and not be paralysed by the fear of repercussions. I can share my high and lows, because the people who are really in my tribe, will be with me all the way.
If you're still reading this, I'd say you're one of my tribe too. It doesn't mean we're perfect all the time, it just means we can feel safe around each other, to be who we really are. Because we need vulnerable, brave people like us to make the world a more accepting place to exist in, together.
I invite you to share any stories about overcoming your apology tendencies in the comment below. These stories can help others, like us, too.