If you know me, you are probably aware that I am overly apologetic.

“Oops! I’m sorry I’m in your way.”

“I’m sorry for being so emotional.”

“I’m sorry you have to put up with me.”

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

The negativity involved with constant apologies really impacted my life more than one would think.  I have been apologizing for taking up space, for feeling/showing any type of emotion, and for simply being myself for so long, that I honestly believed that those things were an inconvenience to people.  When you believe that your very existence is a nuisance to those around you, it is damn near impossible to have any sense of self worth.  It’s a never-ending cycle of penance and self deprecation.

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This image popped up on my Facebook newsfeed a few weeks ago, and changed my life (despite the typo and poor grammar). I am working really  hard to stop saying, “I’m sorry,”o and instead expressing my gratitude for the people around me who love and support me.  I am so grateful to my friends and family who value me and respect me, and because of that thankfulness, I am learning to value myself more.

I can never cut the words “I’m sorry” completely from my vocabulary, no matter how much I would like to.  There are times when an apology is necessary, and I have come to the realization that my habit of constant contrition really devalued those words and made genuine apologies less meaningful.  I hope as I continue this journey of gratitude I will not only learn to value myself, but to value the power of my words.  As a writer I have always been aware of the power of the written word, but the spoken word has evaded me.  I am a nervous rambler, and never feel like the words I say fully express what is in my heart and my mind, but being conscious of my word choices (IT IS REALLY CHALLENGING), has really helped me to be aware of the impact of my words on myself and those around me.

So, instead of apologizing, be grateful.  It is challenging at first, but I am already reaping the benefits of being more positive in my daily life.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for the compliments and kind words so many of you have shared with me recently.  Thank you for being so encouraging, and for all the love and support I am finally learning that I deserve.

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