I’m 10-years-old and having a sleepover at my best friends house. She is on the bed and I’m on the floor. She is angry with me.
“Stop saying you’re sorry,” she says. “It’s driving me crazy.”
“Sorry,” I automatically respond.
“What is wrong with you? Stop being sorry already!” she yells and playfully throws a pillow at me.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry,” I say while bursting into giggles and throwing another one back.
Truth is, I am sorry. Always so damn sorry.
I’m trying to stop cycles in my life that do nothing to propel me forward. During this process I’m demanding things that I’ve been missing far too long, things that I deserve and need in my life. But this feeling sorry stuff…it can go. Like, now!
I seem to hold onto pain and feel responsible, even when it’s completely illogical and wrong. The result is I feel powerless, overwhelmed and just so sad. And there is so, so much in this world to feel sorry about. It brings me to my knees. Often.
How do I change this pattern and start feeling empathy without personal sorrow? What needs to happen so that I can do something constructive and helpful, instead of looking on with a big, fat useless sorry in my throat?
I don’t know. All I do know is that things have to change.
When I wrote my piece for the Listen To Your Mother show, I had no idea that anyone would want to read it. I was worried that I was bragging and that it was just plain awful. It took so much inner struggle to get me past the audition process. But I moved on.
Then, after I was cast, the fear was so great that I almost bolted. Several times. But as the process went on, something changed. A sense of calm came over me that I can’t explain. When I finally stepped up to that microphone, I was not nervous. I had this sense that everyone in the room was rooting for me and that they all wanted to hear what I had to say. It was no time for sorry.
But, after all was said and done, I was sorry. Sorry for the stories that did not get heard. Sorry for the pain and heartache that was shared. Sorry that I have the privilege to make parenting choices, when others are struggling with life and death. Basically, I was STILL sorry that I was here and that I’ve had these blessing in my life when others seem to have been given so many struggles.
Sorry dripping with guilt.
Stupid. Pointless. All it serves is to rob me of MY joy and MY happiness.
ENOUGH! Let it go already! You are not required to live a life with your head bent in permanent sadness for everyone in pain. You are allowed to be happy. You should be happy. Everyone should!!!
So, guess what? SORRY – you are banished. I am ripping you from my gut and throwing you in a hole in my backyard. I stomp with both feet as hard as I can on your stupid, ugly face. You have no power over me anymore.
I don’t need YOU to be a good person. I can still feel love and be loved. I can hold my friends hands and hug them when life gets too hard for us. When life is terrible, my lovelies, I can help hold you up, but it will be from a place of strength and courage. I can love myself without finding meaning in my sympathy for others.
So I grow some more. I take another step in finding my voice and courage.
Be gentle with me as I navigate the road ahead. It’s scary and I might need to hold your hand. But don’t you DARE feel SORRY for me.