Saturday, September 14, 2013

Don't apologize for yourself

After listening to Nadia Bloz-Weber yesterday, I was reminded of how important it is for people to apologize. It is an incredibly life giving, restorative practice to apologize when you do something wrong. Growth bursts from authentic apologies and conversations that bring people closer together through vulnerable self disclosure.  

Joel never feels the need to apologize for his painted toe nails
Apologizes for moments when you have hurt others by your actions and words or even your thoughts are so right. Apologizing for who you are...lets talk about that.
I work with youth. This is an age where everything is out there and nothing is certain. Kids are gripping for who they are and who they want to become, never really knowing if that will be good enough. But no matter who they become or who they choose to be, I hope none of them think they need to apologize for themselves.

 I've had a girl look me in the eye and tell me she is so sorry for being annoying. I never said she was annoying. I didn't even think she was being annoying. I've had boys apologize for not being smart enough, fast enough, strong enough. I've had friends apologize for not being young enough, hip enough, cool enough, healthy enough...

or wearing feathers in his hair
Please don't apologize for who you are. It is ok to not live up to unspoken expectations that other people might have put on you. They are not your expectations, you are not responsible for them. You are not responsible for how I think of you or experience your life. Even if you choose to do things that hurt you, clash against social norms or are vastly different from what you think I think is good; you don't have to apologize to me for that. It is good to be totally who you are, all that you are, authentically, imperfectly, still growing, not all together, you. It is good as in God looked around at His creation and said "It is good", good.

People like you like that. People like me like that. Apologies are good. Apologizing for who you are isn't necessary. You are simply compromising your own self respect when you do that. You are worthy of being exactly who and how God made you to be. Enjoy that blessings. It is a gift. Don't apologize for it.