A serious stretch of self exploration and human study began for me after a yoga class several weeks ago.
I've been struggling with a knee injury for what seems like an eternity (several months) and I have to modify most physical activity I do. Fortunately, for my sanity and those around me, I am still able to do a lot and achieve that necessary outlet of a good workout.
I was taking a weird variation of childs pose (basically more like puppy pose) and my teacher came to adjust me and I quickly reminded her of my injury and then I apologized. WTF?! Yes, it really happened. I really apologized because I couldn't physically do something that had zero impact on anyone else but me! I was basically apologizing for being myself. It was an a-ha moment to say the least.
It was a phenomenal class and I left feeling like a new person. Yoga has this way of making you feel invincible after only an hour, it's really remarkable. I left feeling like a badass but a badass that had some questions.
Why was I so sorry ALL the time? Why was sorry my go to response even if I wasn't?
I noticed that I was sorry for pretty much everything I did. I was sorry while driving. I was sorry for walking past people at the grocery store. I was sorry for being late. I was sorry for being early. I was sorry my dog was well behaved and even sorrier that yours looked like it wanted to eat me. I was sorry for not calling someone back. I was sorry for not immediately responding to a text. I was sorry for not performing well at the gym. I was sorry in a yoga class for Pete's sake. I was just plain sorry.
It was obviously a habit that developed and without actually thinking about it I had allowed it to grow into a monster. I was and continue to be determined to change this.
In my self study I also began to notice that I was and am not the only one that does this. I became hyperaware of everything and everyone that was sorry or at least that said they were. It's a thing. It's rampant and thriving. So much so that we have developed a cute little saying, "sorry, I'm not sorry" or "sorry not sorry." Same stupid thing. There's even a popular song with the same title. We're literally all so damn sorry that we're apologizing to ourselves for not being sorry after we've already said we're sorry. People, we're better than this.
I understand fully that on occasion we are all actually and truly sorry, the real kind of sorry. For example, this past weekend when I was driving down a oneway street the wrong way, I was extremely sorry not to mention, mortified. And fortunately, I didn't even have to explain to another driver or police officer that I was the real kind of sorry. I did however have to explain to my terrified husband that I really was sorry.
When we say out loud the fake sorry, I'm convinced that it does us more harm than we might believe. It's negative, it's counterproductive and we're only harming ourselves. WE are ALL better than "sorry." Be sorry when you really mean it and I urge you to take a close look at yourself. If you notice you are a habitual "sorry not sorry" person than consider doing better for you.
Excuse me. Pardon me. And simply pausing and using what works best instead of immediately jumping on the sorry train. Also, believe it or not, thank you often works. These are all options I'm filling the sorry void with. There is almost always an appropriate replacement, I promise.
There are lots of alternatives to being in a permanent state of apology. In further research I discovered multiple articles written on the subject, there was even a Pantene ad covering the matter, specifically focused on women being sorry. Google it... it shocked me. This is a thing.
Are you as sorry as me? Are you immediately sorry for everything, like I was? If you are, consider joining me, if you'd like, as I attempt to be waaaaay less sorry.