By Penny Hockings
What does it mean to be Unapologetically you? In simple terms it means to never apologise for being you. To no one under any circumstances – without exception. Sounds simple right? Yet, it’s actually not!
To be unapologetically authentic you first need to know what that means to you. Who you really are, not who your lived experiences or people in your life have told you you are. Not who you are in different situations or environments, with different people or social gatherings.
The you that has astute awareness of everything in and around you. The you that has accountability for your own actions but refuses to take on the behaviours and actions of others. It’s who you are at your core, without the stories, masks, labels, beliefs and conditioning from your lived experiences. It’s your soul essence, wisdom and natural way of being that is unforced and effortlessly flows freely. The baggage free you!
I used to carry a lot of baggage and I carried it alongside guilt, shame and constant apologies to everyone for everything that my existence impacted. It’s zero wonder my physical and mental health resembled a toilet bowl after a big night out. I saw my presence and existence as something to apologise for constantly.
Uggghhh. Even writing that makes me feel sick, but it was true.
My lived experiences had made me feel so small and unimportant, unworthy, unloveable and every other ‘un’ word that exists. I had zero awareness who I was and spent my lifetime apologising for it as I lugged my baggage around with me. I had a friend tell me once that I was “too hard, no-one will take you on”. I thought that was cruel and carried it around for years with me, believing it to be true. The truth was I wasn’t taking myself on, so how the hell could I expect anyone else to?
Shifting from apologising for my existence to being unapologetic in who I am, what I do, what I believe, how I show up (big difference to showing off) has meant learning to speak with authority, certainty and assured confident honesty and integrity – irrespective who it is to or why. Without fear of the risk or loss or judgement that inevitably comes.
It’s meant knowing myself at an intimately deep level of understanding. All of me, not just the cherry picked good bits people find palatable, but the dirty and messy bits of me that also make me ME. The wisdom of my battle scars, the patterns formed from decades of playing small, the triggers that reignite the protective fire within me and the behaviours and responses that I had perfected in order to respond without conscious thought and keep my small self safe from being obliterated into nothingness.
Being unapologetic isn’t easy when you live in a world surrounded by apologetic people afraid, unsure, unknowing, walking the hamster wheel of life and its mundaneness, often more than happily. Projecting their wounds, limitations, insecurities and false beliefs from their life lived. I know that feeling too well as I walked it myself for nearly five decades.
Faaaaark. Even now it makes me cringe at my smallness and insignificance as the maestro of my own life. What the…!
Becoming 100% unapologetically me is still work in progress, of that there’s no doubt. I feel like I am training to be a clown in the game of life as I juggle the mundaneness of my human life with the flow of my soul expressing and curating my desires. It is a constant balancing act but the joy comes from daring to and in seeing and feeling the results of being brave, courageous and vulnerable enough to be unapologetic. Without exception!
There’s enormous freedom in being unapologetic. People, places, situations, behaviours, triggers, fears, limitations, controls, restrictions, heavy e-motions and all the boxes, masks, labels, conditioning, beliefs ALL disappear. Not without work and commitment – but they do, along with the physical and mental health issues that accompanied them. You actually feel the freedom and lightness within your body, mind and soul. It is a liberating coming home which you never want to let go of once it arrives. It’s an addiction of beauty, peace, joy and aliveness.
Never again will I apologise for my existence, who I am, how others respond to my presence or for my choices. Nor will I ever judge those who continue to be apologetic – I get it!
What does being unapologetic mean to you?