Mental Musings: Apologizing

Mental Musings is a sporadic post series (separate from my weekly Wednesday posts) in which I encourage thought + discussion on topics such as life, death, creativity, happiness, success, philosophy, psychology, science, current events, and anything else relating to being human.

Ideas for posts may come from books, films, video clips, songs, articles, quotes, or simply the random thoughts running through my mind. I hope you enjoy this insight into the non-Yoga side of me + I’ll be incredibly grateful for your participation … now let’s muse! 🙂

Mental Musings @ victoriaklein.net

When was the last time you apologized?

I’m not talking about a genuine apology that shows compassion, such as, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” when a family member or beloved pet passes away.

I’m talking about apologizing for you – your words, your honesty, your existence.

Like many people, you may apologize in everyday conversation … but do you need to?

Apology: express regret for something that one has done wrong

If you have truly done something wrong and you feel remorse, apologizing would make sense, but why do you apologize for something you said that was nothing but honest?

Why do you apologize for your opinion?

Why do you apologize for feeling emotions?

Why do you apologize for doing what feels right for you, your life, + your dreams?

I’ve got 3 words for you: STOP THAT SHIT!

“Never apologize for burning too brightly or collapsing into yourself every night. That is how galaxies are made.” – Tyler Kent White

In case no one has told you recently, you’re spectacular.

You’re unique – with your own intense past, humble present, and wild future; your own dark fears, light joys, and bright dreams.

Being true to yourself is not “wrong” and you shouldn’t “regret” your choices – hence, no apology needed.

If you feel the “need” to apologize for doing something that felt right to you, who are you really apologizing to?

We all make mistakes – we’re human – but regret and mistakes are two different things. Even when you look back and realize that maybe that wasn’t the right choice, if you learned something from it, it’s simply a mistake.

The lesson is the key. Learn something, and it’s all worth it.

“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” – Benjamin Disraeli

In the time of the Vikings, there were a particular class of fighters called berserkers. As you can probably gather from their name, they were known for their “trance-like fury” that made them truly unstoppable in battle.

What does this have to do with apologies, mistakes, and regrets?

While it is known that berserkers existed, much of their history has been struck from the record books. I’m sure there are many reasons why, but here’s the truth: we regret berserkers. We, as a community of people, regret the fact that we created a world where we thought they were necessary. We regret, so we ignore + destroy … which only leads to us destroying ourselves.

The problem with this is an unexamined life – or, more accurately, an unexamined series of regrets – is that it’s doomed to repeat itself. The regrets will continue if we keep sweeping them under the rug + building internal walls to protect ourselves from the truth.

Instead, against your “natural” instinct, look at what you’ve labeled as regrets.

What can you learn?

How have they changed you?

What did you close yourself off from because of what happened?

How can you slowly lower your guard again?

Honestly acknowledged and contemplated regrets become mistakes: lessons for a wiser, happier, infinitely more fulfilling life, which is also a life that you don’t need to apologize for.

Honor your past. Give it the attention it deserves. Then move on.

You are fallible (yes this is a good thing). Mistakes will happen again. Don’t fear them – welcome them, with the knowledge they’ll bring even better lessons.

Depression lives in the past. Anxiety lives in the future. Happiness is only found in the present.

When was the last time you apologized … and did you need to?

4 comments… add one
  • I think that part of the problem is that many have forgotten that words are more than just words. There is meaning and power in them. Not many want to have to look at themselves and realize that they may have regrets. I know I have fallen into this trap myself. It serves to only undermine your own personal growth and prevents the possibility of any healing that could or that needs to happen. But this is often looked at as being easier than having to take a good hard look inside yourself. The problem is that we have forgotten that if something is hard then it probably means that there is an even greater reward for it.

    Reply
    • A very intelligent point! It all comes back to thought and taking the time to truly pause and think – it hurts, but it’s always worth it. It’s not an action (or non-action, as it where) that’s openly encouraged or supported in modern society (at least not in the US).

      I love the point that you make in the final sentence – if it’s hard, then it’s what we should be doing. Acknowledge the fear and keeping moving because you’ll leave it in the dust 🙂

      Reply
  • This is actually something I was pondering a few days ago. I think so many people (I admit to it) feel like they need to apologize, even when it’s not needed. Because we chose to make a decision was just that, our decision, not something we need to be apologetic about. I’m hoping to get better about this…

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Pamela – I adore your blog! 🙂 I still catch myself on a nearly-daily basis saying “Sorry” when I don’t need to. It is a nice courtesy, but I think it’s really demeaning to our personal choices, and it makes the word itself mean far less.

      Reply

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