I’ve always had a hard time understanding why someone would want to be themselves “unapologetically”. I get it- you should always strive to be your own person, especially in a society that enlists conformist tactics as a way to maintain power and control. Your sense of individuality is a strength rather than a weakness. It is not something that should be swept under the rug in order to feel accepted by others who are probably doing the exact same thing. Sticking to your values, morals and beliefs doesn’t make you stubborn or narrow minded- it means you aren’t afraid to stand your ground in a world which goes to extreme lengths to convince you otherwise.
That being said, I think we fail to realize the humanity that underlies what we mean when we strive to be ourselves unapologetically. Because, let’s face it, we are not, and will never be, perfect beings.
We aren’t going to make the most logical decisions every time. We are going to be selfish at some points in our life. We are going to do things we will probably end up regretting. We are going to say things without thinking about the consequences. We are going to inadvertently hurt others while trying to heal ourselves.
It’s an inevitable part of being human that we must face, rather than ignore. Our flaws and our imperfections are a part of who we are as much as our strengths are. And while perfection may be unattainable, I for one, wouldn’t want it any other way.
The moment you accept that, at one point or another, you will fuck up in life, is the moment you can allow yourself a chance to breathe. It is the moment you give yourself the opportunity to grow and learn along the way. It is the moment when you realize that being yourself unapologetically means fully accepting that there will be times when doing so will result in some remorse or guilt. It is the moment when you realize that, contrary to popular belief, there will be times when you probably should apologize for the hurt you have caused.
Because being yourself unapologetically doesn’t give you a free pass to be an asshole. It doesn’t give you the right to communicate or behave in a hurtful manner. It doesn’t allow you the chance to justify your actions by saying, “oh, that’s just who I am”. Because there will probably be days when who you are is someone that you are not wholeheartedly proud of. There will be days when looking yourself in the mirror will be a hard task to complete.
But, being yourself unapologetically doesn’t mean that you should never be sorry for the things you have done; it means being strong enough to realize that there will be times when you will have to apologize and forgive yourself in order to stay true to who you are.
Being true to yourself is an acceptance of the good and the bad, but never the ugly. There is beauty to be found in our complex nature and within our vulnerabilities. There is a humility in being able to work on ourselves. There is a freedom in accepting that we won’t always measure up. There is a strength in owning up to our actions while acknowledging that we too are worthy of the same forgiveness we so readily give to others.
There is a power to be found in being yourself unapologetically, while still having the grace to apologize and love yourself, despite all of this.