It takes a lot of work to unravel the part of us that feels apologetic. Those apologies can be as simple as needing help, and asking for it, or as deep as feeling like who we are is a burden. I want to share a couple things that I have discovered through this complicated healing process:
- The need to apologize (when there is no wrongdoing) stems back to places and times where we needed affirmation and got criticism or silence. The vulnerability in us to be dependent on others to help shape us, carries on to each new chapter of our life, if that shaping leaves our needs unmet.
- I am talking about kids. I am talking about a younger version of you who has had no choice but to become fiercely independent, because relying on others challenges the walls you’ve had to build in order to not feel like an apology. As if, to be human and need others, was ever meant to be a threat.
When we apologize for taking up space, we are buying into the idea that as a kid, we were responsible for our parent’s well-being. A few side notes:
- No child is (or can be) responsible for their parent’s mood, health, or well-being.
- No child has the capacity to process their parent telling them or treating them as if they are a burden.
- No child is the problem.
Yet, the child walks away naming themselves as unwanted, undesirable, unlovable.
These experiences live in us, until we have the courage to stop apologizing for taking up space. In living a life unapologetically for who you are, you are sending the message to that younger you and letting them know, that you understand how they came up with the conclusion they did, but the messages they needed, are what you want to provide.
Again, when we apologize without doing anything wrong, we are affirming the burdens from the moments we needed support. When we stop apologizing, we are ending the cycle that suggests we are not equal, while accepting that we are allowed to take up space.
I am honoring each of you who are finding their way to the younger parts of you that need you most. Celebrate them often. Love them well.
We do a deep dive into much of this work in Healing the Younger You.