You know, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve made some poor decisions. In my career. In my education. In my marriage. In my health. In my spiritual path. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions. And in some ways I’ve come to identify with the decisions as though they are a reflection of who I really am as a person. I’ve attached my identity to them. I’ve made the decisions part of who I am, as though they ARE me. But they are not me. Not in the sense of the real essence of who I truly am as a human soul.
My flawed decisions are a reflection of nothing more than flawed thinking on my part. They are the result of the justifications I’ve allowed myself to have for the actions that I have taken, or the inactions that I have not. It’s the justification to spend this money that I don’t have to buy this thing that I want, but I don’t really need. Or to say those words that cut someone else down or cause them injury or pain, so that they will stop injuring me. Or that extra piece of cake, or extra slice of cheese on that second hamburger. “It’ll be OK”, I tell myself, “I’ll work it off in the gym.”. Never to set foot in the gym.
With all of these poor decisions, it’s easy to think that the true essence of me, that inner spirit man, is this flawed person. That its the spiritual self that is flawed and wrong. And I, inevitably, end up apologizing for him. For who he is. But the problem is that bad decisions are simply the result of flawed thinking that is largely programmed into our minds from the time we are children, but it’s not WHO we are. Who we are is much more than that. And we apologize, in effect, for who we really are, deep inside, with all of our fears and aspirations, with the errors in our coding that provide damaging and destructive results. When we do this, we acknowledge that our flaws are who we are. We fully identify with those flaws. We embrace them and they become a part of ourselves at a subconscious level. Our flaws DEFINE us.
Stop apologizing for who you are. You are entitled to your dreams. You are entitled to your desire for love and happiness. You are entitled to living YOUR life in YOUR way. It is, after all, yours. And you are entitled to your mistakes and your flaws. Most of it really doesn’t come from you anyway. It comes from things you’ve been told by other people. “You’re fat”, “You’re lazy”, “You’ll never amount to anything”, “You’re a liar”, “You’re a fraud”, “You’re not a good person”, “You’re not smart enough”, “You’re not… worthy”…
These things are not “YOU”. These are things that others have thrust upon you. Some of them do it in frustration or anger, perhaps because you’ve made a bad decision that effects them in a negative way. Some of them do it in an attempt to protect you from what they perceive as something dangerous or irresponsible. Some do it for spite, some do it for their idea of love and protection. But when someone tells you who you are, question that assessment.
So am I saying don’t apologize? No. When you make a bad decision. When you make a mistake. When you do something that injures another person… Absolutely apologize. But apologize only when you truly recognize that the decision, the mistake, or the injury is the result if your own flawed thinking. Not because there is something wrong with you, as though you are an unworthy being, but because you have an error in your processing mechanism. Then work to find the root of that error and get it out of your system. Apologize for the mistake, not for the fact that you made one, but for the fact that you recognize that it has caused someone else harm and that you need to examine the thought process that lead to the mistake in the first place.
You are love and light. You are a child of the Creator of the Universe. You are worthy and you are worth it. Begin there and stop apologizing because you are not perfect. Apologize, instead for the results that your imperfection has brought into someone else’s life.