An Apology to End All Apologies

by Julie on January 23, 2013 · 18 comments

Last night, I took a long, hot shower; a long, hot shower after a tepid dance.

The dance was fine; I just wasn’t feeling it, and after eleven years of dance, I know enough to dance “I’m just not feeling it.” Eventually, when you dance, “I’m just not feeling it.”, you come to feel whatever is really here. True on the dance floor, true in life.

Back to my long, hot shower. As the water pulsed against my tired skin, thoughts of apologies came to me: how I learned to apologize upfront, a long time ago; how I hear so many women apologizing for being; how apologies seem to be a part of our conditioning as women in the patriarchy.

In the shower, I saw something: I saw how we can all, all of us women, apologize upfront -

a one time apology.

an apology to end all apologies for simply being female.

an apology that clears the channel.

an apology that says, “Enough is enough.”

an apology that, when we say it, allows us to feel that there is nothing to be sorry for, nothing to apologize for, nothing to hand our power over for.

an apology, out loud, standing in front of the mirror, or with a sister, or with a man who truly has our back and desires for us to feel the depth of feminine beauty and wisdom, stated with full awareness, standing in our beautiful female bodies, feeling the words course through our hearts, touch our souls, conscious enough to feel the words…and either the truth of them or the lie in them.

Maybe by consciously apologizing for being us, for being women, for taking up space, for having a voice, for feeling outrage, for caring about life, for birthing babies, for having vaginas, for being sexual, sensual, creative beings…maybe we get, real-time, aloud, that in simply being female there is nothing to apologize for.

All the times I have apologized in my life for nothing, for nothing grounded in the truth, I was doing so out of a conditioned habit to be a certain way to make others feel more comfortable…or make myself feel more comfortable in a situation where I couldn’t feel comfortable because I wasn’t being me…wasn’t being who I really am –  a strong, powerful, creative, woman with deep feelings, a soulful sensuality, and a wise intellect (insert your own true, valuable offerings as a soul, in a female body, put on this earth to be a vibrantly creative contribution to the world!).

I’ve been apologizing for something ungrounded in truth, somewhere deep inside, and all along I haven’t felt one bit sorry for being female. Instead, while I apologized, way inside, some part of me fumed because apologizing for simply being is a horribly violent act to the soul.

Why should any human being apologize for simply being? Why should any human being feel shame for simply being?

Being is a gift. Being is a mystery. Being is creation simply being what it is. No one should EVER apologize for being. It is violent to the soul. And it causes a soul to get confused, angry and sad…

Sometimes, the apology comes out as “I’m sorry.” in response to nothing in particular. Sometimes, the apology comes out as hiding our femaleness by being more male, or hiding our emotions, or putting down our sisters…sometimes the words “I’m sorry.” aren’t there, and instead what is there are actions that try to hide what is true within us.

Turn to look at this mechanism of apology as a habit. Is there any truth to it? Do we really feel like we have to apologize for being women? For being who we are? Dig deep. Look closely. Are those apologies founded in anything other than fear, or desire to be connected, which is really fear in disguise?

If we drop the apologies that are untrue, perhaps we might see opportunities for true apologies for things we’ve said or done that we honestly know in our hearts we want forgiveness for.

Like in my dance, I’m just not feeling it – the ‘apologize for being a woman’ thing – anymore. I’m dancing that, moving that right on out, so I can feel what’s really here and live that – without apology, and with love.

::

image: tendril by hamed sabir under CC2.0

 

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucy January 23, 2013 at 11:37 am

Oh I hear you sister. So much. And I’m with you. Totally. Yes! No more apologies just for being me, for being a woman. I’ve gotten better, but not good enough at it. Am sharing with my crew over at The Happy Womb on FB x

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Julie January 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

You are beautiful, Lucy.

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Amy C January 23, 2013 at 11:55 am

I swear, I am going to print this out and hand it to all my therapy clients! It is amazing how much we, as women, are expected to bear the burden of fault. It starts in our earliest myths and stories – I think of Eve in the garden – and continues today.

I can’t count the number of times I have accidentally bumped into another woman in the grocery store with my cart or my elbow, to have her turn around and apologize profusely. Or how many times my clients, in a session, will apologize for crying in front of me. Or how many times I myself have apologized for asking for what I want and rightly need from others.

Lovely blog post, thanks for writing such beautiful truth.

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Julie January 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Amy, thank you. I’m thrilled you want to share it with your clients. The apologies slip out so easily. We can help each other learn how not to.
With love, Julie

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Joy January 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Wow. I was just going to draft an email apologizing to someone for not meeting their expectations, when I had the clear thought, why would I apologize for something that has nothing to do with me? There weren’t deadlines to meet, and I didn’t create the expectations…so I don’t wish to apologize…the true apology would be I am sorry you have expectations *grin* then this email with your article came in…*Divine* timing. Yes! Thank you.

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Julie January 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

;-) they way life weaves itself is amazing. great realization, Joy! love, julie

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Lissa January 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I swear, I spent the first 40 years of my life apologizing in these ways and more, eventually calling the whole hot mess ‘my apologetic years’. Such a great articulation of something its taken me till recently to see a great many of us live…

Have to say too that once or twice a week these days I find women calling me out for being ‘too male’, which has me biting back a different kind of apology, which has me feeling there’s a new middle ground working its way out. Personally? I ache for the time when accepting the blessings of one doesn’t auto-render the other less-than (or outright offensive).

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Julie January 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

hmmm. a new middle ground. i so agree with you on that… love you, julie

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Dian Reid January 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

It wasn’t until after I hit 35 when I realized just how much I apologize, in general. I have apologized for being gay, for being female, for not going to college, for being sensitive, for feeling vulnerable, and numerous other pieces and products of who I am and who I intend to be. I know I apologize for being me much less these days, and still … I will take my own hot shower after my own tepid dance and feel what’s really here so I can move forward—and leave behind any unnecessary apologies for being any part of myself. Bless you, my dear Julie, your words soothe my soul.

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Julie January 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

wonderful. enjoy the hot shower. maybe your dance will be hot, too! bless you, love.

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Callahan McDonough January 24, 2013 at 6:22 am

Perfect, beautifully said and so true Julie. Resonant with the metaphor of dance+life.

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Julie January 24, 2013 at 7:23 am

thank you, Callahan! love to you.

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Erin January 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

Love this. Thank you.
When I was younger I used to apologize all the time. When I realized what I was doing, I was enraged because you’re right, it is a violent act to the soul. That year I stopped apologizing so much, at least verbally.
More recently, your post reminds me of one I wrote at the beginning of the year, about letting go of shoulds — check it out. http://reddressy.com/a-new-year-being-yourself-and-letting-go-of-shoulds/

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Alexandra Telluselle January 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm

F**k yeah! Pardon my French ;-) I just sent a msg today starting it with “sorry, just one more question…”. Why is there a lingering unseen barrier for us to express ourselves freely in truth about our feelings, thoughts and expressions? I’m not even sure I want answers from anyone, I just want to question! Because there are so many “truths” that already are made known within, I’m just longing to share them. Does this make sense? Hot showers are the best, opening up our crown chakras for awesome revelations like yours today. Thanks for sharing and offering a space for me to comment.
Aloha,
/Alexandra

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Lauren January 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Julie, thank you for this. I am always amazed when I unpack another layer of collective programming, when it rises to the surface as an emotional and physical grief and cleansing, and then I hear subtle echoes that imply that this bursting to the surface is indeed a collective process. This was exactly what moved through me this week — feeling into a deeper layer of apologizing for being that is so fundamental I’d never taken a step beyond it before, never knew there was a beyond to step into. I’ve deconstructed this by layers for years, but this week was different; I could FEEL how embedded in self-apology I’ve been since… since this self-sense took form. I could feel it because I’ve begun to taste what is beyond it and before it — the perfection and power of Being, as embodied by this particular woman that I AM.

SHE awakens! It’s a beautiful thing. Thank you for being such a clear voice and observer of this awakening!

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