Now that I have your attention with today’s blog title, let me tell you where it comes from.
For more years than I ever want to remember, in the depths of my despair I used to scream in my mind: “I apologize for my entire existence!” This was a scream born of rage and pain and never said out loud until now. And before yesterday, this thought hadn’t come to me in a long time. But yesterday morning as I laid curled up in bed shivering under the covers in the dark, I said those words in my mind. Not in a raging scream, but in a flat monotone that told me one thing:
I have truly begun to believe I am not a bad person for making mistakes even if this thought creeps into my mind. I used to think whenever I made a mistake or asked for help that those actions wiped out every single good thing I had ever done in my life. Yes, I felt like I was totally wrong in asking for help or just opening up myself to others.
Because I wasn’t always treated well when I did ask for help or try to open up emotionally. I know I wasn’t responsible for other people’s cruelty or lack of sensitivity but for so many years, I thought I was. I internalized cruelty and insensitivity so badly I became terrified to open up and ask for help. I know many people feel this way because on one hand we’re told to be resilient and independent, and on the other hand we realize we’re not always able to do everything for ourselves.
But this doesn’t mean your existence itself is meaningless.
You are not a nameless, faceless nobody who is not worthy of any kindness or compassion just because you’re human and you make mistakes.
You are a human being and you deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion. You deserve to be helped if you ask and you are not a failure in asking for help at all.
This is something I told myself yesterday and it’s what got me out of bed ready to face down whatever the world was going to throw at me. Most of all, it made me realize once and for all I don’t need to apologize for my existence.
Despite my pain and despair, despite this thought, deep down inside myself I know I am worthy of my existence. I know my life has value and meaning and that I’m just human even as I make mistakes and screw up. But now I realize that people who are cruel and insensitive are not my responsibility to try and change, nor do I have to live my life according to their cruelty and insensitivity. Most of all, the vast majority of people in this world are good people, kind and compassionate and just trying to live their lives as best as possible with whatever they’re given to work with. And right now, we don’t have a lot to work with sometimes.
I believe in the higher power of God. I look to the teachings of Jesus Christ to learn and understand unconditional love and compassion for others. I tell myself it’s okay to feel unsteady with my faith but to know that it’s always there. And in this faith, I find my feeling of being worthy of living life to best of my ability. But I also believe that all paths led with compassion and kindness are good and worthy, too. When I pray for myself, I ask for whatever blessings are available to me, and for God to help others more than myself.
I understand feeling pain and despair for I believe the human experience is huge and all-encompassing of both the darkness and the light. I believe if you embrace the light you’ll find value and meaning in your life. I feel alone a lot but there is always a small voice inside me that tells me I’m not alone in this life.
Don’t apologize for your existence. Your life is a gift to the world. Yes, you do have a choice as to how to live your life with either kindness and compassion, or without. I have faith that most people will choose to live with kindness and compassion. This faith in the good of this world, and in yourself, is what you have to hold on to no matter how bad the storm gets.