For some, saying sorry is a release and an act of love – or at least it becomes that over time, but for others, saying “I’m sorry” feels like a betrayal, an acceptance of something we just cannot, well, accept. How could this one act impact people so differently and bring such different responses. Although most people enjoy hearing a heart-felt apology and often we feel we deserve it, we stutter and choke on these two simple words when it’s our turn to reciprocate. Why is it so hard for us to own up to a mistake and apologize? You might be surprised, but the roots of this issue start early in life.
The Cost Is Just Too Much: The Fear of Not Being Loved
We learn early on that I’m sorry also means that I’ve done something wrong. And if I admit that I’ve done something wrong, I am also admitting that I am not perfect. Perfection translates into valuable, safe and lovable. Imperfection is the opposite of all of these to us—we can’t afford this. So, saying we are sorry us too much. We already feel like we are in the red when it comes to our self-esteem. This was built for us, not by us, early on in life as we are taught that we are not good enough. From that time on, it always feels like we are working in deficit mode in the “I’m OK” department. But, everything we tried to think and do to overcome this deficit to this point in our lives hasn’t worked.
“I Have to Be Perfect or No One Will Love Me!” How many of us feel this way? I know I’ve felt this way in the past and it’s like working a second job trying to keep up this charade. Let me say this about perfection: No one is perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist and it’s not because we are imperfect. It’s that the concepts of perfection and imperfection are opposite ends of the same pole of hellish thinking. It’s all part of the “I’m not good enough” self that we believe in. Outside of these beliefs, outside of this thinking self system, perfection and imperfection don’t apply. All is well. Everything and everyone is good enough. By understanding this, we can start a new chapter in our lives leaving behind such old, useless ideas that cause us so much pain and suffering.
Here is another news flash: You can’t make a mistake. No one can. Mistakes are a concept from the thinking self, again–the one who came up with the concept that none of us is good enough. As such, they are based on lack and fear, both of which don’t exist outside of the thinking self’s conceptual outlook. The truth is, mistakes are nothing more than learning moments. We learn what NOT to do and therefore get shifted to another opportunity to figure out what TO do. So, if you think all you do is make mistakes, I would propose that you look at them from the heart’s point of view from here on out, not the mind’s point of view. If you do, you might feel free to continue learning that one thing you always wanted to learn.
The Vulnerability of Apologizing
Coughing up an apology can make some people feel vulnerable as if apologizing is a sign of weakness. This is another misperception that causes us a lot of anguish. As is the case with many things we have been taught about life, directly or indirectly, the opposite is true – apologizing is a sign of strength.
When we aren’t able to accept that we did something that warrants an apology, we are catapulted into a weak position. We are now the servant to the stress of this non-acceptance and its ultimate detrimental effects that undermine our relationships and our health. Why would we choose this over a life free from self-created stress? We wouldn’t so continuing to do so actually goes against the grain of our inner self – our true self – who operates stress-free and full of health. Apologize when one is needed and experience your inner strength.
An Apology Gives a Release that Allows Healing to Begin
Saying, “I’m sorry” isn’t meant to be a cake walk. These powerful words provide deep benefits that many of us may not be aware of. These include bearing your soul and dealing with an old issue that has been plaguing you for years and letting go of old patterns of thinking that have kept you from doing what you really want to do.
When we say something that is hurtful, it is important to own it and apologize for it. When we apologize, our stress is reduced almost immediately. When we say, “I’m sorry” our relationships heal at much the same speed. Saying you’re sorry shows the other person that you care enough about them to take responsibility for any hurtful words or actions. It also shows that you care about yourself. This provides release and healing to both parties. This is how we align with what’s in our hearts instead of what’s in our heads.
It is time to align with our inner truth. It is time to stop following old thinking patterns that don’t work in our favor. Accept yourself as good enough, strong and worthy of love. This is aligned with the truth about who you are – the stuff that wasn’t supported when you were growing up. As adults, we can see all of this for what it is and choose to do something different than we have done in the past. This alignment will help restore us to a more balanced state. We could all use more balance and more love.
Start today. Be brave and be strong. If there is an apology needed from you, do it today. Get it off your mind and reconcile an energy-draining, relationship-ruining issue that needs your attention. You will feel better and so will the other person.
Be free. Be happy. Be healthy. Be loved. It is time.