I had a good laugh this afternoon. At my own expense. Actually, I think I’m a pretty funny person. But definitely more in the slapstick humor than witty, stand-up comedian way. I once opened a door into my own face. Then there was this mid-air flip to avoid landing on my rear while using roller-blades. Remember those? Yeah, I’m pretty sure even without falling it looked rather humorous. And then there was the time I managed to slap myself in the face with cheese. I’m still not sure what was going on there. And, yes, this was all completely sober. And, yes, I laughed at each of these and many more. If I didn’t laugh at myself, I would miss a lot of opportunities. And it is the best medicine.
Back to this afternoon. I was leaving the doctor’s office needing to turn left from a side street without a traffic signal onto a four lane road. That is often somewhat busy, but “small-town busy”. As I came up to the stop, there was the perfect opening. Yay! But as is common during Midwest winters, there was a bit of an icy patch under me. My wheels spun for a moment and then caught, startling me a little and as I sailed into my left turn I hollered “Woohoo!” and laughed. (Besides laughing at myself, I’m apparently also easily entertained).
And then I said, “Sorry.”
Did I mention I was by myself?
Who was I apologizing to?
What was I apologizing for?
And I laughed. And the more I thought about it, the more I laughed. Loud and bold, because that’s my style. Was I apologizing to myself for being myself? Hahahaha! Am I so used to apologizing for my loud self that it’s a reflex? Hahahahaha!
I know I’m not the only one. There are so many of us who apologize for everything (“I’m sorry, but…”), use qualifiers in our speech (In response to compliment: “But I have wrinkles/bags/back fat”), or undermining ourselves (“Did I make sense?” I do this ALL the time!). Or ending every sentence like a raise in tone like asking a question, like you’re not quite sure of what you are saying. Please don’t do that.
Don’t apologize for asking for what you need. Say “Thank you” to compliments. Say what you need to say with confidence.
And stop apologizing for being yourself. You are a unique and beautiful creation. You have strengths and gifts. You are made lovingly to be exactly who you are, to do exactly what you need to do. So raise you head high, adjust your crown, and walk with confidence. You are loved.