Why I Stopped Apologizing for Being Me

Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments

Jacky Exton | Tiny Buddha

“Never apologize for showing your feelings. Never regret being who you truly are.” ~Unknown

Ever felt like a square peg in a round hole? A fish out of water? A knife in a fork drawer?


That was me growing up.

On an emotional scale of one to ten (where one is cold and ten is super-sensitive), I hovered between seven and nine on any given day. The rest of my family resided around four.

As a result, I spent a large part of my youth feeling disconnected. An outsider. Alone.

As the youngest sibling, I was always the last in line, which meant getting the dregs of the pudding. The hand-me-down clothing. Cold bathwater.

But that’s how it rolls in families. Age carries authority. I accepted this as just how it was.


I grew up and started finding my voice, embracing my emotions, and having opinions.

It wasn’t really a shock when no one listened or took notice. They wrote me off as oversensitive and dramatic, which I’d come to believe was true. And that’s when I started apologizing—for my opinions, for my moods, for just being me.

After all, I was young and desperately wanted to fit in and be accepted.

I was the anomaly. Surely that meant that I had to change? To be like them? Then I’d be normal. Then they’d all accept me, wouldn’t they?

Thus began a long period of inner conflict. When I felt emotions bubbling up, I would inwardly chastise myself and try to suppress them, much like shaking a bottle of champagne and trying to hold the cork in. Yup, it’s almost impossible. And potentially messy.

I really believed that I needed to be someone other than my authentic self in order to be loved.

It didn’t end there. The same hodge-podge of confused inner perceptions bubbled over into my romantic relationships too.

I believe that we attract people who mirror our inner beliefs about ourselves. This meant that over the years, my “significant others” were just as confused about their own identities.

I desperately reached to each of them for acceptance, for a sense of worthiness, for security.

But how could someone as conflicted and disconnected as I was offer anything other than more conflict and amplified feelings of unworthiness?

It was a vicious cycle—endless, futile, and disastrous.

The turning point wasn’t instantaneous. There was no “A-ha” moment. It was a gradual awakening. A yearning to understand. The rising dawn after the dark.

Over time I read many books, attended a multitude of courses and lectures, and meditated, always thirsting for more.

And slowly I re-connected with me. The real me.

I learned about self-compassion and self-love. And I patiently peeled away each layer of defensive protection until I finally embraced the fullness of being unapologetically me.

These are a few of the principles I’ve embraced.

I am unique.

There is only one version of me, and it’s special and amazing. Nobody else in the entire world is like me.

I have scars on my knees from tripping on trail runs.

I have an insatiable love of dark humor.

I prefer white wine over red.

And I’m never late.

Each preference and choice, like or dislike, is mine and mine alone. And that’s perfect!

I’m comfortable with other people’s discomfort.

I totally accept that I am not responsible for anyone else’s beliefs or perspectives. Those are entirely their own choice. If anyone dislikes or disapproves of me or anything I say or do, it’s their judgment, from their perspective. Not mine.

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