If You Do Any of These 5 Things, Stop Apologizing
TODAY, I HAD A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE FROM MY PAST, AND THAT CONVERSATION INSPIRED THIS POST.
I felt ready to have this conversation, and I'm glad that I had it because it made me realize how much I've grown since the last time that person and i spoke, how I have stopped trying to be anything other than me. I can only be Ri, ever. But even in being me, I used to find myself occasionally apologizing about it.
I DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR BEING Ri ANYMORE.
ironically, those things I stopped apologizing for became my favorite things about myself. qualities that I would not change for anyone on this planet. I just want to go back to my old self, give her a huge bear hug, and tell her that she need not wait for anyone's permission to be herself. unapologetically so.
IF ANY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OR BEHAVIORS BELOW SOUND LIKE YOU, I HOPE THAT YOU STOP APOLOGIZING FOR THEM TOO:
1- Possess A Bleeding Heart
My heart bleeds every single day. There is so much love in it that it is overflowing. flooding. all the time. And clearly I still have more than enough for me, for you, for him, for her and for them, because my heart has been bleeding for 25 years and I am still here. More alive than ever, actually.
I am never going to collect all of the greatness oozing out of it - I couldn't if I tried. And I will most certainly never try to contain it or leave it to myself. My heart will bleed, it will pour, and if you decide to get close enough to me, it will probably drown you. If that makes you uncomfortable, well, I won't stop bleeding for you. i'll just do it from a distance that feels comfortable for you. that's how much i love you.
But what I won't do is apologize. God gave me this bleeding heart, so how could I dare apologize? For what? For loving too intensely? For caring too deeply? For having enough to go around? Who would ever apologize for being the epitome of abundance? My heart bleeds every single day because that is what I have been put here to do. to be a bleeding heart for me and for you, too.
If your heart bleeds endlessly for those you love, turn your apologies into gratitude. Thank God for your blessed, bleeding heart, and don't ever stop loving as intensely as you do.
2- Express Emotions, A lot
Before I explain, let's just be clear: you are emotional. I don't care who is reading this, you're emotional. As a matter of fact, if you think you're not, I'm here to let you know that you are probably among the most emotional of us all. You are a living, sentient being, therefore, you feel. You feel a lot. You feel all the time. Even when you force yourself not to feel, that, my love, is a very intense emotion that you are feeling.
The only difference between us emotional beings is the degree to which we express those emotions. I have always been an extremely expressive person. I wear my bleeding heart on my sleeve at all times, and sometimes it makes other people uncomfortable. it used to make me uncomfortable too - only because I don't like making other people uncomfortable. But what I dislike even more than being uncomfortable is being anyone other than myself.
I will always express my emotions, especially if you ask. If I love you, you will know. If I am sad, you will know. If I am upset or angry, you will respectfully know. My level of emotional expression has changed hearts. We can change minds with our words and actions, but only hearts can change hearts. Have you ever watched a heart change before your eyes? it is the most beautiful thing i've ever seen. i want to change more hearts while i'm here, so i will continue to express my emotions, a lot.
don't apologize for showing your heart. you are giving others the permission to do the same, and we desperately need more people with the power to change hearts.
3- Protect Your Energy/Space
this is one of the most recent practices I have adopted, and it was pretty challenging at first. i am so protective of my energy and space. so many magical things have started happening in my life when i became more intentional about who and what i allowed around me. I cleansed my body, mind and spirit several times this year, because I take myself and my surroundings so seriously. but there were times when i felt a bit guilty about this process, where i felt like i was hurting other people by helping myself.
i still feel this way at times. but every time i look in the mirror and see who i am becoming as a result of this self-preservation, i stop feeling the need to apologize. when we protect our process from people, habits, things that are not conducive to growth, we are giving ourselves the space and strength to be exactly who god put us on this earth to be. we begin living in our purpose. what better gift can we possibly give to others than to be exactly who we have come here to be?
with time, i learned to stop apologizing for this powerful practice. but apologizing is different than explaining. for those i love, i have no problem explaining what i'm doing. but i have learned that many will not understand immediately, and many will still take personally a process that we both know has nothing to do with them. it's okay though. with time, they will understand, and with time, your example will inspire them to free themselves in those same ways.
explain if you feel so inclined, but never apologize for being protective of your world. after all, you are paving the way to be all that you were put here to be.
4- Say "NO."
no can be a sentence. like you can actually put a period after it. i was an english teacher - trust me, i know. still don't believe me? just watch. no. bam! if someone asks you something, and all you really want to say is "no," you can, love. no, period. it is a complete thought. a finished idea. it can stand alone if you want it to. sometimes, to make your point, it needs to stand alone.
so why do we feel like we always have to say "no, because"...or "i would, but..."? i understand that it is absolutely okay to care about how we make others feel; sometimes it is the only right thing to do. i had to say no to someone this morning and i chose to follow it up with a paragraph-long explanation for why i couldn't do what they were asking me to do. but i made that decision because i wanted to explain, and I felt it was the right thing to do in that situation.
we all know the difference between the situations where we explain out of love, and the ones where we explain/qualify/stutter out of hesitation, obligation or self-doubt. i have been there. sometimes, it is so uncomfortable to just say "no." in those situations. in the moments when you know that the other person does not deserve an explanation, we feel like we still need to explain. stop feeling this way. someone asks you to do something that is against your morals? just say no. someone asks you to do something inappropriate? just say no. someone is trying to take advantage of your generosity? say no. instead of frantically explaining something so obvious, let the other person revisit their question and feel uncomfortable for asking you to begin with.
sometimes, saying "no." is the way to respond with love. love for yourself, and love for the other person. you don't get defensive and lash out on them, and you don't devalue your worth or dignity by explaining something that deserves "no" explanation.
5-Want WHAT IS YOURS
i have to add a big disclaimer about this one: some things that we want are not for us, even if we think so at the time. some of the things we want right now are not in alignment with our greater purpose and truth. we are fallible beings, so we will want some things for the wrong reasons. some things that we believe are rightfully ours are actually not ours at all - they never were. sometimes we have to face rejection from these things for us to realize that we wanted the wrong things all along. sometimes, we don't get what we want until we start wanting those things for the right reasons.
the only advice i would give about "how to want" is that only god and our hearts can guide us towards what is ours. so, let them guide you. i am practicing this so much right now. i pray, talk to god, and truly listen to my heart whenever i need some clarity. what's ours is ours already, so the path will unfold as it is supposed to. so for those things that we know are rightfully ours, and for those things that god shows us belong to us, do not dare apologize for wanting them.
do not apologize for asking for them. do not devalue what you deserve, because if it is for you, then you deserve it and guess what? it deserves you too. don't apologize for wanting the job that you know is meant for you, regardless what the requirements say. do not apologize for wanting a life filled with abundance and happiness, because it is yours to create regardless your circumstances. do not apologize for wanting to be a healthier and fitter version of yourself, for putting that dream house on your vision board, for asking god to help you make peace. ask for those things boldly and unapologetically. if you want to own them eventually, own them right now.
understand that if it is yours, it is yours - whether it's in your possession yet or not. why would you apologize for trying to manifest the life that you were made for?
STOP APOLOGIZING ON GOD'S BEHALF
I had a completely different blog post ALMOST ready to be published for today, but i listened to my heart and decided to write and post this one instead, last minute. it felt most relevant AND URGENT to me (and hopefully to you, too).
We really need to stop apologizing for pieces of ourselves. if, after reading this, you feel that parts of you truly require apologies, then you need to work on changing those things right now. for every other piece that is here to stay, love it, be proud of it and be grateful that you have it. when we apologize for that one small piece, we are ultimately apologizing for our presence, ourselves, our purpose, our truth. and worst yet,
WE ARE APOLOGIZING ON GOD'S BEHALF.
i can think of no greater form of oppression thaN to silence (by apology) THE GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN US AND ASKED US TO SHARE.