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from the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
from the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I recently noticed my tendency of apologizing even when an apology is not necessary. I also noticed that several of my female clients do this as well. Research suggests that women do in fact apologize more often than men, largely because we have a lower threshold for what is considered offensive. But I wonder who defined the threshold for us in the first place.

Despite gains in the last fifty years, there are still cultural and societal expectations on women to show up and behave in a certain way. Whether outright or subtly, women are punished when we challenge or don’t meet those expectations.

Defying Expectations

The end result I believe is, for far too many women, your hopes and dreams are based on the expectations of others and not on what’s really happening in your heart. You wish away the things your soul truly desires or, worse yet, you numb them away. You think you “shouldn’t” want the things you want because it’s not “right”, thereby giving someone else permission to decide what is or is not right for you.

I get it because I’ve been there. For a long time I lived my life trying to be what people said I should be. I stuffed dreams and desires because they were not what was expected of me. I apologized for not being what “they” said I should be. I repented for not loving the things they said I should love, or for loving the things I was not supposed to love.

But it got exhausting trying to be what everyone else said I should be when I just wanted to be who I am…so I chose me. Though it is far from easy and though I sometimes feel the need to apology for that decision, I still choose me.

My Wish For You (and me)

I want you to know there is no apology needed for you to choose you. I want you to love what you love and to let the soft animal of your body just be what it is.

I want you to meet your body and your heart and your soul with kindness and grace. I want you to do the things that feel right and pure and holy for you.

I want you to embrace the sacred and the mystery of the Divine. I want you to be okay not having all the answers and instead grow more comfortable with the questions. More than anything I want you to stop living someone else’s version of your life and rise into the story you were born to live.

I want you to get up from underneath the weight of shame and guilt because the narrative in your heart doesn’t fit the one you are “supposed” to be writing. To get out from under the power of voices telling you that you are not enough and your story doesn’t matter.

Choosing to Be Brave

I wonder what it would be like for you to choose to be that brave. To choose to let go of the expectations of others and just be who you are, without apology. To stand up and say, “this is who I am! This is the work I believe I am meant to offer the world! This is me claiming my voice…my story!”

I’m done watching us allow society and well meaning family and friends decide the outcome of our story as women. It’s time for us to take back our power. It’s time for us to own our stories and our voices. It’s time for us to remind the world that we are WOMAN! HEAR US ROAR!

Here’s to you and me rising into our greatness. No apology needed!

From my heart to yours,

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If you are tired of apologizing for wanting what you want out of life but you know you need some extra support behind you to really do it, I’d love to be your personal cheerleader. Let’s chat to see if we might be a good fit. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today.

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