I have been writing some fiction this weekend which I am not ready to share, and decided today to use one of the Write 31 prompts for a topic – what do I need to stop apologizing for. Ironically, this was a realization I had this morning when I was part of a panel on local radio here in Barbados, discussing how economic changes are impacting people in everyday life. Out of the discussion came a comment from a listener criticizing some of the comments that I made, who seemed offended that I held a “middle class” perspective, and I began to retract, but after the show was over, I thought about it, and I realized – I had no need to do so.
The truth is, I sometimes feel bad for some of the success that I have had in life. Even though I feel that I have worked hard to achieve my successes in life, it can be a bit embarrassing to admit these especially when I am with people who admit to hardship or struggle. Even though everyone has their own personal struggles and triumph, I worry about being ostracized from my friendship groups, or seen differently from how I am currently seen. I suppose I have felt that I might be able to be more impactful if I could be seen as an “average joe”, that people may feel as I can understand them if I have more in common with them.
But the truth is – I don’t have to apologize for my successes.
I don’t have to apologize for the opportunities that I have had through hard work or fortune or being in the right place at the right time.
I don’t have to apologize for having a “middle class” perspective.
I should celebrate the fact that my hard work paid off, and apologizing for who I am is really a form of ingratitude. Denying myself causes a struggle within between who I am, and who I want to be, and how I want to be seen, and the reality that if I truly want to achieve further success in life, I may lose people along the way. Every person has a role to play, and I need to be proud of my perspective, and my opportunities, so that I can effectively play my role and work towards giving opportunities to others. I do not have to apologize for who I am.
The reality is that I need to embrace every part of myself. We all do – to raise our own self-esteem, to believe in our own abilities to do even greater things, to move towards the lives we dream of – the first step is to embrace our entire selves and NOT to apologize for anything – especially our successes. In this way, we can have compassion for ourselves, for those around us, and we can teach the young people who watch us to have pride in themselves and in us.
So now my question to you – what do YOU need to stop apologizing for?
I send you big love from a small island!
Ps our sunsets recently have been epic!! Here’s one from a few weeks ago