Forgiveness and Guilt

I don’t know if it’s the anxiety, the fact I’m a *gasp* millennial, the stubborn Norwegian/Irish family I grew up in, or what; but I am a frequent victim of the guilt-bug. Like. Sick to my stomach guilt sometimes.

My mama, God love her, is a guilt trip princess, which makes sense because my grandma is the Guilt Trip Queen. (Although, sometimes my mother-in-law gives her a run for her money…) I don’t think that’s the reason I’m so often struck with the guilties though…I think it’s my reluctance to forgive.

As previously mentioned, strong, stubborn Norwegian/Irish roots. Grudges are like candy for some of my family-they hoard it, and enjoy it in a weird way. I don’t think I’m a grudge-holder, persay, but I’m not a great forgiver either.

You know who I forgive the least?

Me.

Yeah, big shock right? I don’t hold grudge really, except against myself. I replay and put myself down all the time for things I should just forgive and forget. What I should think: “Yup, I skipped that workout, I’ll go next time.” Nope, I don’t play that way. I beat myself up over it again, and again, and again until I’m miserable and hate filled.

I’m one of those chronic sorry-sayers. I had a coworker once who would get after me when I said sorry because I said it so much, and I would just say sorry again.

I apologize for inconveniencing people, I apologize for having feelings, I apologize for my toddler, my husband, literally everything. I say sorry in my emails to coworkers all the time. I say sorry to people when I text them, because I’m afraid I annoy them. I texted one of my best friends this morning and apologized because we got drunk last night and I did dumb shit…but so did she?  And everyone else. So, why am I so compelled to apologize?

Got me. (Picture me shrugging.)

I keep seeing this thing on Pinterest about replacing sorrys with thank yous. I think it looks hard as fuck, but I also think there has to be something to gain from it. If I’m not constantly apologizing, maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty? Maybe I could finally forgive myself, ending a fucked-up cycle of self-hate.

I’m sorry to bother you turns into thank you for your time.

I’m sorry I got drunk and had fun becomes thank you for having us over and appreciating me for who I am.

Thank you has a positive connotation; I’m sorry is always negative.

I’m far from perfect, but fuck, I’m a lot better than I give myself credit for too. And I’m willing to bet I’m far from the only one constantly apologizing, never forgiving myself, and feeling guilty. Let’s end this cycle one thank you at a time.

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