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I have come to greatly admire Trista Hendren. If you don't know her I encourage you to find out more about her. She is the author of the God Girl and so much more! Thank you Trista for sharing your wisdom!
Stop Apologizing for Your Existence
by Trista Hendren
Many of us grew up apologizing for things that are not our fault to keep the peace. As Patricia Lynn Reilly noted:“Women are much more experienced at using the words 'I’m sorry' than men are. These words are not a mere perfunctory bow to politeness when uttered by most women. They contain a self-depreciating quality as if we are apologizing for our very existence—as if the answer to 'what’s wrong with me' is embedded within our femaleness.
The search for an answer to the question 'What’s wrong with me' consumes our valuable time, depletes our precious life energy, exhausts our limited resources, and distracts from taking responsibility for our lives.”
It took me a long time to realize that I had nothing to be sorry for. Growing up as a girl in the church taught me that I needed to be on my knees every night, begging for forgiveness. On Sundays, there was usually an altar call, where I would often make a public display of just how 'bad' I was. This set up a horrible precedent. When females are taught to be contrite, they learn not to fight. I am pretty damned certain none of the males in the church—including those who abused me—are sorry for anything.
Females who feel ashamed are easier to control. SARK advised,“Stop apologizing and saying, 'I'm sorry' so much. Women have a terrible habit of apologizing for everything (even their own existence.) One time, I bumped into a woman—hard—and she said automatically, 'I'm sorry.' I had bumped into her! Sorry in the Dictionary says this: wretches, miserable, inferior in worth or quality. We are not this! We have a right to live wild, succulent lives.”
Be mindful of the words you use and how you talk about yourself (and to yourself). Catch yourself before apologizing unnecessarily. If you mess up, by all means, say you are sorry. But never apologize for your glorious female self.
Females are taught they are 'wrong' from birth for not being male. Everything in our world is set up for the benefit of men. It is time for us to reclaim a world of our own. If you struggle with this, here's a mantra that I love from Patricia Lynn Reilly:“My thoughts are my own—I will not modify them to receive the approval of others. My feelings are my own—I will not silence them to make others comfortable. My life is my own—I will not shape it according to the expectations of others. I live in harmony with my natural cycles, deepest wisdom, and truest self. And so it is.”
An excerpt from How To Live Well Despite Capitalist Patriarchy.