[adjective; ~ Pronunciation: /sawr-ee/]
- Definition: The only word left to say to yourself after realising you do have self-respect after all, and you need to do this one more thing to leave the past behind: apologise.
“I’m sorry. If you were right, I’d agree with you” – Robin Williams
Have you ever been really mean to yourself, denying yourself things because you felt you needed to punish yourself? Telling yourself you were far from okay and were definitely not worth to live? That you look hideous and are a stupid no-good idiot that’s just wasting everyone’s time?
I have done all that. And I thought I was over it until I caught myself gazing into the mirror and silently listing all the things I dislike about myself. It’s like an automatic response I give myself when staring into my own eyes.
That was about three weeks ago.
Now, I am not going to claim that my trip to Canada was a spiritual one or that it cleansed me from my self-harbouring evil. But it has changed me. I did not know it was humanly possible to enjoy yourself so much and be totally carefree, not having a single worry on your mind (except for a brief period when I heard the Netherlands were almost being flooded by rain. But everything dried up eventually and my family’s fine and that’s all that matters).
Today, I want this post to be closure for me. And maybe for some of you, too, because I know I am not the only one out there who has ever hated herself.
I’d like to apologise to myself for being so harsh on me, always. For never telling myself I did something well, but always focussing on things that didn’t go right. And when I say focus I mean obsess over the bad stuff.
I am sorry for telling myself I can’t achieve anything, that I am a failure by default, and that I constantly reinforce this idea by every seeming failure I endure, be it flunking an exam, being unemployed or typing the wrong words. And don’t even get me started on how I torture myself by constantly telling myself off for not being able to love normally, like other people do.
Then there was a time when I was a teenager and I treated my body so badly it’s a miracle it didn’t take revenge on me (like, by holding on to all food that I put into my mouth, making me obese. Or by creating scars in places nobody wants one). Sometimes I went days without eating anything, just to punish myself for being ugly. Or I’d scratch myself open for the same reason.
I am especially sorry for my skin, because God knows how many times I deliberately got a sun burn just to punish myself for being white. Ridiculous, but true, sadly. Or that time when I refused to put on my old winter coat and didn’t want to buy a new one, because I thought I wasn’t worth being warm and comfy during the winter time, and felt I had to punish myself (I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, aren’t I?) by cycling to school in my fake-leather summer jacket which was, obviously, way too cold.
Also sorry to my teeth. I would so not have any cavity if only I had taken the effort to be good to you, always.
But most of all, I am so so so very sorry it took me this long to figure out that I was wrong. Punishing yourself for whatever reason is wrong. And useless. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, both character-wise and look-wise. If people were only brought up with having this explained to them, maybe there wouldn’t be so many people out there like me, always fighting against themselves. It’s a battle you never win, you know.
When I was on Victoria Island, I had a dream about some of Canada’s First Nations. You see, another thing I keep beating myself up over is that I am white. And white people everywhere have done some very nasty things to non-white people everywhere, and somehow this makes me feel guilty. Extremely guilty.
In my dream, though, a traditional Indian tribe welcomed me and painted my face with their sign of the snake (my Indian star sign is a snake). Their leader told me I need not worry, because I am a beautiful person with a good heart, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. He could see my soul and was honoured to have me as their guest.
When I told one of my travel buddies about this dream, she said: “But you are! You are a good person!”
So there you have it: practically all my life, I’ve been punishing myself for being a bad person, but it turns out I was wrong about that all along!
All the things I have experienced in my life, both good and bad, have made me the person I am today. The good person I am today. And this goes for everyone. So in hindsight, do I need to be sorry at all?
No, I don’t.
Except maybe for using Justin Bieber to top this post, but let’s not get into that ;)