Do We Really Need to Apologise? Why Apologies Are Out Of Balance.

in #freedom3 years ago (edited)

Over the years I have been prompted to explore and analyse myself and the patterns that I have been 'gifted' by society along the way. The intention has been to learn whether our patterns really serve us or not and I have found that many of the patterns/choices which we think are 'normal' are actually far from being balanced - resulting in them causing our problems, while we think they are helping.. Today I will look at - Apology.

When we are out of emotional balance we often look for others to 'do something' to 'make it up to us' - we typically use blame against others which comes with judgements and a lack of acceptance. Instead of just acknowledging that people make mistakes, we often choose to amp up the situation by punishing people and withholding love from them. In some cases you might feel better for withholding your vulnerable emotional aspects from contact with people who truly are heartless and careless - however, compassion can still be helpful even in these cases. Does compassion withhold love because others have made a mistake? I don't think so - but this is a kind of unconditional love that does not exactly match what many people today think that love is.

The common method of 'making up for not being good enough' is apology - but I have always felt that apology wasn't generally REAL or useful. I was forced to apologise in school, sometimes for things that weren't even wrong or mistakes! I have felt that apology usually involves a repeated mental process/pattern of just 'saying sorry' and then in many cases not really learning from the experience or making the called for changes. The forcing of apology and the expectation of using it as a 'get out clause' has meant that apology is no guarantee of anything at all.

Let's look at the evidence:

Firstly, what is an apology?

1 a : an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret
a public apology
b apologies plural : an expression of regret for not being able to do something
I won't be able to attend. Please give them my apologies.

Source: mirriam webster dictionary

So we see that apologies occur when accepting that you have made a mistake or overlooked someone's needs - plus when you then regret having done so. So what is a regret?


  1. a : to mourn the loss or death of
    b : to miss very much
    2 : to be very sorry for
    regrets his mistakes

Source: mirriam webster dictionary

This is not a very helpful definition since it goes round in a circle, back to apologies.. However, it also does mention 'mourning death or loss' - so there is an emotional aspect relating to a disconnection. So regret is in some senses an emotional and psychological state that exists due to a disconnection.

An apology, then, can be said to be an admission of an error that has caused or been caused by a disconnection between those involved in some way - whether emotionally, psychologically or even physically (such as apologising for standing on someone's toes due to not seeing them).
If regrets are defined as 'being sorry for' - what is 'sorry'?

1 : feeling sorrow, regret, or penitence
2 : mournful, sad
3 : inspiring sorrow, pity, scorn, or ridicule : pitiful
their affairs were in a sorry state

Source: mirriam webster dictionary

Here we get to a very important point. The origin of apology can be, emotionally, in feelings of self blame and a lack of self acceptance. If you always accepted yourself and that you make mistakes, then you would not unlovingly judge yourself and effectively reject yourself, such that you feel 'penitent' and sad or even scornful towards yourself. This is a second reason why I have never felt comfortable with apology - its root is a lack of self acceptance and thus a serious form of self denial.

What if there is NOTHING wrong with making mistakes? Especially if your intent is to learn from those mistakes. What if making mistakes is a natural part of the process of learning and living? What if apology for participating in this process is actually doing more harm than good on subtle levels?

If I apologise for spilling my drink on your homework, I am attempting to basically show you that I didn't do it deliberately and that it was a mistake - but I don't need to actually punish myself internally for that. It is as if an apology is an unconscious attempt at punishing ourselves so that the other person won't punish us! What a mess! Why punish anyone? Why not just say "I made a mistake - I didn't mean to spill that"? The answer is that what we call 'normal acceptable behaviour' is laced with a variety of unloving beliefs that have us subtly denying each other (and ourselves) as a matter of course, day in and day out.

What if we shifted our perceptions away from denial and towards acceptance?

With full acceptance for my mistake or problematic decision, space is left open for learning and change. With space left open in me I can honestly understand what I did and why - without fear of being punished or denied love. Though we might not want to accept it yet, part of our emotional body can be quite timid, having already been punished and abused countless times already from many directions. There is no way to fully learn while parts of us are not participating out of fear of being rejected and hurt. The rejection and hurt is not just from other people, most importantly it can be the rejection that we cause in ourselves as part of us decides that another part is not good enough.

With full acceptance of self, we maximise potential for learning, remove the need to apologise and also minimise the chance of making the same mistake again and of hurting others again. The only thing that remains is for others to evolve to this realisation too so that they don't continue their own self destructive pattern of believing that apology is a solution to their problems.. Once we all realise the actual dynamics involved with regards how to heal, balance and evolve - our energy will be used far more efficiently, we will learn more quickly and there will be much less that might warrant an apology anyway!

You can't make up for unconsciousness by apologising!

I make no apologies for not apologising ;)

Wishing you well,

Ura Soul

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when I was younger I had a huge problem with apologizing too much, feeling the need to do it regularly, until one day a man at the farmers market said to me ' what you are really doing is apologizing for your existence, why on earth would you want to do that', it really a projection I was putting onto others of my lack of self worth, it really woke me up hearing that

Oh yes, that is often true - lack of self acceptance equates to a sense of not being right to exist at all! In Britain many people have taken this to extremes and often the most common word you will hear in a supermarket is 'sorry' as people navigate with their shopping trolleys and possibly, maybe 'nudge' into someone else!

Sorry = Sore (e) or 'Sore Energy'
So sooth yourself and your soul energy if you don't want to be sorry any more. :)

that was me, it is such an Irish thing to do too xx

Some powerful perspectives here!! unlearning a lifetime of learned apologetic words and ways of being. Much love for a moving post!

Thanks! Much love to you as well.

This is a very good one. It made me internalize and think way deep on something about apologizing and compassion. Because obviously, people today, takes these 2 for granted without even realizing (or failed maybe ignored) the depth & strength of these words. Thank you.

You are welcome - thanks for inquring within! ;)

This had me doubting my perspectives but I think I'll hold my ground and say apologies are a necessity. An apology is not necessarily an admission of error (at least the way we use it), it is more of an indication of seeking peace after a fracas (the way I see it). Reducing it to its bare meanings may rob it of its actual usefulness

I don't know if that made sense, it sounded so much cooler in my

hehe. apologies can be used as part of a way of creating peace, yes - though if peace has been breached then there will have been some kind of error or lack of acceptance involved since arguing is ultimately unnecessary and is thus then born of errors that say that arguments are necessary/useful. denying self and each other is a form of error.

real peace can be found through understanding and a shared intention to find peace that leads all involved to make decisions that cause peace. if the understanding is present that the entire dynamic that leads up to apologies is unnecessary, then no-one is likely to be attracted to seeking apologies.