Don’t Apologize for Being Happy

“green coconut tree during daytime” by Jorge Vasconez on Unsplash

I have an amazing life. It is full of love and happiness. No I am not wealthy. I often have very little in my checking account. I am not famous, at least not yet, however, I keep writing what I want to write. I live in a rented house where I want to paint a room purple and I can’t. I have a vehicle that is approaching twelve years old. I have a job that I enjoy but keeps me away from my family and it pays the bills. Truth be told I would rather be home writing.

Any of these things at any given point could give me anxiety. I could complain about any of those things. I could be angry about the things I don’t have, I am not. Why would I when, as I said at the beginning…

I have an amazing life.

About two years ago I began to live unapologetically. It wasn’t an instant change, it was one I had to work on every day. I was one of those “I’m sorry” people for years. I apologized for everything all the time. It was often an unconscious reaction. I decided one day to stop. I decided to focus on the positive. I stopped apologizing for my happiness.

What happened was strange. People were so used to me apologizing that some seemed to get angry when I stopped. Others were proud of me.

My confidence grew and my inner circle of friends shrunk. What I discovered was that people liked that old accommodating to a fault me and when I stopped doing what they wanted me to do, it made them uncomfortable. Some thought that it was a phase I would grow out of and when I didn’t they distanced themselves from me. I found, at first that I shifted the sorry off of me and on to them. I said things like, “I am sorry if you don’t like my choices.” or “ I’m sorry if you don’t like my (insert whatever), but it’s my life.” I decided to stop justifying it too.

You know what? I realized it was all about them and their insecurities, not about me at all.

From that point on I did not apologize for things that were truly not my fault. I didn't claim ownership for things I could not change. I made a point to share my happiness. I put the positive things in the forefront of my brain.

An astonishing thing happen. People around me started accepting me for who I am.

Now I am helping those I love to stop being I’m Sorry people. If it is truly your fault, fine apologize but do not say “I am sorry”. Instead use the words, “I apologize.” It seems to go further and mean more. It is also not as easy to say as “I’m sorry” and seems to be more difficult to become an unconscious habit.

There is one thing I want you to remember. You owe no one an apology for your happiness. Period. No conditions, no what ifs…No. No….you don’t.

No, not even if that happens…whatever you are thinking. No.

Your happiness is yours.

Believe in being unapologetically happy.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here.