Sometimes, we act in a manner with which we are less than comfortable. That’s human. That’s why we have the words: “I’m sorry.” They heal and bridge the gap. But we don’t have to say “I’m sorry” if we didn’t do anything wrong. A sense of shame can keep us apologizing for everything we do, every word we say, for being alive and being who we are.
We don’t have to apologize for taking care of ourselves, dealing with feelings, setting boundaries, having fun, or getting healthy.
We never have to change our course, if it is in our best interest, but sometimes a general apology acknowledges other feelings and can be useful when the issues of a circumstance or relationship are not clear. We might say: “I’m sorry for the fuss we had. I’m sorry if what I needed to do to take care of myself hurt you; it was not intended that way.”
Once we make an apology, we don’t have to keep repeating it. If someone wants to keep on extricating an apology from us for the same incident, that is the person’s issue, and we don’t have to get hooked.
We can learn to take our apologies seriously and not hand them out when they’re not valid. When we feel good about ourselves, we know when it’s time to say we’re sorry and when it’s not.
Today, I will try to be clear and healthy in my apologies, taking responsibility for my actions and nobody else’s. God, help me figure out what I need to apologize for and what is not my responsibility.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
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