I’d say two words encapsulate my primary way of diminishing myself – I’m sorry.
I’m not apologizing for the phrase. That IS the phrase. I’m sorry. It became an exhaustive part of my vernacular. Constantly apologizing for who I was, how I looked, what I said, the reason I said it, why I came, why I didn’t come.
And more often than not it included an explanation of some sort. Why was I sorry? If you traced every single reason I gave, each found its root in one: I was sorry for being. For existing in a way that was contrary to what others wanted me to be or wanted for me.
I finally became aware of it thanks to a wise friend who was bold enough to point it out. And when I stopped myself every time it tried to burst from my mouth, I realized a few things.
One, most times I had nothing to be sorry about.
Two, most times no one was aware of whatever I was apologizing for, much less holding me personally responsible.
Three, I’m not wrong for who I am, which brings us back to the root. Being sorry for being.
If you have kiddos in your life it’ll break your heart watching them struggle with identity as they grow. It begins early and, well, that process never ends till we die. So God’s still watching you and me and praying we’ll learn to love ourselves just the way we are. To find our identity in Him. After all, we were created in His image.
Be kind. Love well.