I had an epiphany this morning. My entire life I've been overly concerned about what other people think of me. Do they like me? Am I a nice person? Those are the thoughts that continually flow through my mind. It can be overwhelming sometimes to constantly want to be liked and validated by other people.
I am, however, reaching a point in my life where I'm beginning to feel differently about myself in relation to other people.
There have been many occasions in my 34 years on this planet where I've apologized to people. I often feel like I'm apologizing.
"I'm sorry your feelings are hurt."
"I'm sorry you feel that way."
"I'm sorry *insert reason here."
However, I'm becoming exhausted from the idea that most things are my fault, because they're actually not. I don't need to apologize for everything.
Yes, there are genuine occasions where someone's feelings do get hurt and that warrants an apology. But what about my feelings? I don't want to forgot those too. For years, I've prioritized other people's feelings over my own. I'm done with that.
I will apologize for an action I've done that has hurt or angered a person I care about; however, I will not apologize for who I am.
There's a huge distinction here. You can be remorseful for hurting someone's feelings, but don't take that personally. Do not infer that there's something wrong with you or your character because another person is offended by your words or actions.
We all offend each other. It's the nature of being human. But let's celebrate the fact that we're different. We're unique. I felt so strongly about my realization that I created a T-shirt. Are you with me?