Everyone makes mistakes at one point or another throughout their lifetime. We’re human beings and we’re totally allowed to have errors in judgement; accidents happen and random circumstances beyond our control unfold in our surroundings. In fact, a meditation guru once told me that there is an art to saying sorry, which has extremely spiritual properties that help you develop and evolve as a soul. He also said that being able to apologise is one of the strongest and most powerful tools to have in your spiritual toolbox.
Why we apologise when it’s not necessary
However, we tend to feel the need to apologise for things that sometimes don’t require an apology. We do this to make peace with our own conscience, to appease our own sense of guilt or to make sure that we don’t upset the other person in the quest to seek their approval. After all, most people just want others to like them.
Being aware of the way we interact with others when we think we have made a “mistake” can shape our own sense of empowerment. People with a low sense of self-esteem and people-pleasing tendencies are often the quickest to jump to an apology, but this is almost as if we are dishonouring ourselves and not feeling as important as the people in the world around us.
But what if you could approach life without feeling like you’re inconveniencing others? Would it unveil a newfound sense of freedom, confidence and self-worth? Perhaps even empowerment?
When not to apologise
Below are a few active examples of circumstances that don’t merit an apology.
If you try these out the next time you feel the need to say sorry or feel like you’re not worthy enough, see what happens and how you feel internally. Over time it will make you feel more entitled to live life on your own terms, instead of apologising for taking care of your own needs.
1. Never apologise for doing things for yourself
One thing you should never apologise for is taking time out to put yourself first. Self-care is the key to living a long and strong life. When you take time to nurture yourself, you are better able to care for others. Apologising for doing things that make you happier, healthier or wealthier is useless. For example, when I became a mother, I was just 21. I used to experience guilt when taking time for myself, whether it was going shopping alone or going to the gym. I felt like every moment of my life, I needed to put my child first. And now that I’m 35 and have just had my third child, I now know that if I don’t put myself first then I can’t be the best mother I can be for my children.
The affirmation: I’m not sorry for taking time for myself. I freely allow the space in my life to nurture my true essence in body, in mind and in spirit.
2. Never apologise for saying, “No”
The thing to remember is that it’s totally acceptable to say no to people and not to apologise. By saying no to an invitation and not saying sorry for declining, you are setting up healthy boundaries and being honest about what you’re able to assist with and what you can’t. It’s far better to cultivate honest relationships with people than apologising to someone for not wanting to do something that will drain your energy. For example, saying no to family members can be a tough task. I’ve had to set some boundaries with my family in terms of asking them not to feed my children too many sugary treats. The key is to soften your tone when you say no to others so that you don’t come across as defensive or aggressive. Learning to be gentle when you draw boundaries with others is an incredible asset you can learn to master.
The affirmation: I’m never sorry for saying “No” and setting important boundaries. My heart is open and my tone is soft in order to communicate my wishes so that they land in a safe space.
3. Never apologise for what you believe in
You are allowed to have an opinion different from someone else. You never need to say sorry for the beliefs you hold dear to your heart. When you apologise for what you believe in or say sorry for holding a different viewpoint on a particular topic, you are being disrespectful to the core essence of who you are as a human being. For example, I am a big believer in manifesting and the law of attraction. But there are certain people out there that judge me for being too fanciful. I never say sorry for what I believe in; how passionate I feel about what I teach; or how I choose to share what I learn. Because the key factor is that we are constantly learning, growing and evolving as human beings. Our beliefs can change and transform as we grow.
The affirmation: I’m not sorry for what I believe in. My soul knows the truth.
In conclusion, the next time you feel it necessary to apologise, please take a moment to honour yourself first. Make sure you’re saying sorry for the right reasons and not just creating the space for other people to feel comfortable so that you can stay small. You are a magnificent being that deserves to live fully, vibrantly and without excuses.
This was first published in the March 2016 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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