This week's Spin Cycle is on confessions and things we might feel guilty about. It should be a really easy topic, especially for me. I feel guilty about so many things, many of which are not even my fault. Thinking of this topic actually started depressing me, because all I could think of are all the things I am not doing right, not getting perfect. Then, I had an epiphany. I have to get a hold of this guilt thing, put it behind me and move on. So, here is my spin:
I have spent a good portion of my life apologizing to people. This is not because I spend most of my life offending others (though I am sure I do at times); no, I apologize for things that aren't my fault, things that I feel guilty over, though I have no reason to.
An incident with my sister illustrates my problem well: A couple months ago, my sister and I were shopping at Sam's Club. We turned the corner and found a man and his shopping cart parked directly in our way. My sister said, "Excuse me" and the man moved over to let us through. As I passed him, I said, "I'm sorry."
My sister turned to me and asked, "Why did you just apologize? You did nothing wrong and you need to quit doing that."
I've been thinking of this exchange for some time now. Though I was slightly annoyed at my sister's lecture, I knew she was right. And the more I think about it now, the more I realize that this habit of apologizing anytime I make my needs known is not emotionally healthy.
And this is going to change.
So from now on, no more apologies when I cannot do everything for everyone.
I will not be consumed with guilt when I have to say no to helping you with your needs. Sometimes my needs and my family have to come before you, and I have no reason to be sorry for this.
I will not apologize that sometimes I need help, too.
I am not going to be sorry when I demand to be treated with respect.
I am not sorry for politely disagreeing with your point of view.
I'm done with being sorry for expecting and demanding that people actually do their jobs. (This includes the school social worker who still hasn't started the social skills group for Danny that is in his IEP.)
And most of all, I will not apologize for taking up space on this earth anymore.
Check out the Spin Cycle for more confessions.