"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Thomas Jefferson
Sept. 23, 1800

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Q Is For.......Quit It

Someone recently told me I was making a situation worse by trying to help. Even though this is patently untrue, my response was to apologize. It doesn't matter who it was or what it was concerning because it wasn't the least bit unusual, I do this all the time in work, home, friendships, everywhere. My New Year's resolution is to Quit It.

My knee jerk reaction in lots of situations is to say "I'm sorry." And what's bad is not that I don't mean it, but that I do. I actually accept blame for things I haven't done, that aren't at all my fault or aren't even bad in the first place. Everyone screws up and I do as well, but not nearly as much as I tend to think. I just have a hard time accepting that. I lay too much guilt on myself, accept too much responsibility. I try to fix things, it's in my nature and not something I'll ever stop. I need to realize that that's a good thing, whether it's welcome at the time or not, and that just because everything doesn't immediately turn to unicorns and rainbows it doesn't mean I'm a failure.

It's largely my own fault. It isn't often someone makes me feel bad about something I've said or done or not said or done. I tend mostly to do it to myself for some reason. A friend actually praised me last year for being the "son, husband, brother, father and friend" that I am. I am going to enter this year taking that to heart and consciously reminding myself that I really am exceptionally good at all those things. I'm done apologizing for being kind, for trying to help and for doing my job.

This all sounds very Stuart Smalley as I read over it, but whatever. I needed to say it. I know I'll make mistakes and when I do I will make amends.  But as far as apologizing (or holding it in and feeling bad) when I haven't done anything wrong or especially when I've done good, this year I'm going to Quit It.

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