Spirituality & Self Care

Shedding an Apologetic Spirit & Embracing a Grateful One

On the course of my spiritual journey, I’ve learned so many things about the unseen part of me, my soul. I’ve learned that my soul needs as much care and attention as my physical body to reach my true potential and purpose.  Not only is this journey helping me appreciate specific intrinsic values and qualities that I possess, but it also continues to force me to come to terms with some lifelong traits that are holding me back from living my truth.    

For the majority of my life, I’ve always had an extremely subservient personality. While this may seem like a desirable quality, this caused me much distress in my social and personal life. I often found myself being taken advantage of by so-called friends, and due to my mild nature and battle with low-self esteem, I adopted an apologetic spirit. When I use the phrase “apologetic spirit,” it doesn’t just mean that I took accountability for my actions, I took accountability for actions that weren’t my own. I remember one of my teachers expressing concern to my mom, telling her that every other sentence out of my mouth was an apology. 

Did I really feel like everything was my fault? No, not consciously. But somewhere in my soul, I felt like I needed to be held responsible when things went wrong, even things that were out of my control. At the moment, apologizing always seemed like the right thing to do, but looking back, I realize that every nonsensical apology I made, I gave my power away. Always apologizing and taking responsibility for things out of my control wasn’t helping me, it was hurting me. Not only was the constant apologizing taking away my own power, but the effectiveness and sincerity of my apologies were slowly diminishing, as it would be more out of habit than actual remorse. 

This habit was especially challenging to break because, after years of apologizing, it became a sort of reflex for me. It wasn’t until I made a conscious effort to apologize less that I realized just how much I was actually doing it. If someone crossed my path in the street, I’d say sorry. When something entirely out of my control happened at work with a client, I would be the first to take responsibility and apologize. 

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on social media floating around about responses you can use instead of saying, “I’m sorry.”

For example, when running late, instead of saying, “I’m sorry,” try, “I appreciate your patience.” The post followed suit with other scenarios where my instant reflex would be to say “I’m sorry,” and I noticed that the replacement responses were all aligned with one quality: gratitude. 

Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Having a spirit of gratitude goes far beyond simply saying, “thank you.” As mentioned in its definition, a grateful spirit displays a readiness to show appreciation and kindness, which not only changes the way we interact with others but the way we view ourselves. 

Instead of viewing ourselves as indebted to others, regardless of accountability, adopting a spirit of gratitude builds our inner confidence that’ll exude in our daily interactions with others. Having a grateful spirit also makes ourselves receptive gifts that we may have discounted ourselves from before. 

Waking up in the morning, especially during the workweek, someone with an apologetic spirit can feel sorry for themselves, having to endure another long day. But as we all know, the following days, minutes, and seconds in our lives are not promised, and having a spirit of gratitude can change our entire outlook on life, from the moment we wake up, to the minute we lay our heads down to rest. 

There are so many aspects of our lives where we may not realize that we’re feeling sorry for ourselves or others but with a grateful spirit, the negativity associated with these moments can be turned into gifts that we’re thankful for. 

With adopting this spirit of gratitude, we take back the power we give to others and negative experiences, and instead learn to appreciate all the little things in life that allow us to move forward. 

A personal change as significant as this is not something that’s done overnight and requires a conscious effort. To this day, I still sometimes catch myself muttering a quick “I’m sorry,” but with thought and practice, I am working towards embracing a spirit of gratitude. A few tips that have helped me are:

When I wake up in the morning, no matter how tired I am or what day of the week it is, I say “Thank you” (Not to anyone in particular). I’m grateful to wake up and have another day, a luxury I’ve taken advantage of my entire life. 

When things go wrong, and they do go wrong, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I’m thankful that I have an opportunity to make it right and grateful for resources to help. 

What are the ways that you express gratitude? To others and yourself? Let me know in the comments!

A personal change as significant as this is not something that’s done overnight and requires a conscious effort. To this day, I still sometimes catch myself muttering a quick “I’m sorry,” but with thought and practice, I am working towards embracing a spirit of gratitude. A few tips that have helped me are:

  • When I wake up in the morning, no matter how tired I am or what day of the week it is, I say “Thank you” (Not to anyone in particular). I’m grateful to wake up and have another day, a luxury I’ve taken advantage of my entire life. 
  • When things go wrong, and they do go wrong, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I’m thankful that I have an opportunity to make it right and grateful for resources to help. 

What are the ways that you express gratitude? To others and yourself? Let me know in the comments!

About Eden

I enjoy long naps (when I can sneak one), cheesy books, and I'm fueled by the smiles of my son.
View all posts by Eden →

1 thought on “Shedding an Apologetic Spirit & Embracing a Grateful One

  1. I have to show thanks to the writer for rescuing me from such a trouble. Because of exploring throughout the search engines and obtaining views that were not powerful, I assumed my entire life was well over. Living devoid of the approaches to the issues you’ve solved by means of this blog post is a serious case, as well as the kind that might have badly affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your blog post. The competence and kindness in dealing with everything was priceless. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a subject like this. I’m able to now look forward to my future. Thank you very much for your skilled and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse the sites to any person who should receive guide about this subject matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *