Nightingale watercolor by Christie Michelsen

“I allow the beauty of my being to express itself fully.” 

How many times a day do you find yourself saying, “sorry?”

Does it come out your mouth automatically when you come face to face with someone unexpectedly?

Do you say it when someone else bumps into you?

Do you apologize simply for taking up space?

The thing is, words are powerful. They help shape our reality. 

Let’s take a closer look at the word “sorry.”

The dictionary defines it as:

sor·ry  särē,ˈsôrē/, adjective

  1. feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune.

  2. in a poor or pitiful state or condition.


Do you really want to identify with either of these sentiments? 

Sure, if you really did harm someone, it’s appropriate to say “I’m sorry.”

But so many times, I hear people using it in situations where another word might be better used.

Next time you brush against someone in the supermarket, try saying “excuse me” instead. Notice the difference in how you feel when you do. It’s subtle, but empowering. 

And as for the other definition, I do hear people applying it to themselves, probably without even realizing it.

Like the beautiful, sensitive young woman who stopped by my art fair booth at the Hiawatha Music Festival last weekend. I was still setting up, and after we had been chatting a few minutes I glanced towards my materials.

She immediately began to apologize profusely for taking up space and my time.

Actually, I had really been enjoying speaking with her, and was sorry to have to split my attention.

“Never, ever, apologize for being yourself,” I told her.

Because she truly is beautiful, and the world needs her – and people like her – to step into their power and start loving themselves.

When we start to love ourselves, that’s when we bring the most love into the world. And that is a powerful force for positive change. 

So, what can you say instead of “sorry?”

Well, how about something like, “Oh, you look busy. Do you need some space? Should I come back later? Or (if it’s appropriate) is there anything I can do to help?”

Or, if you feel they do need space and may be too polite to say it, just thank the person for their time and move on.

No need to assume you’re unwelcome. Right? 🙂

So, as you go about your day today, pay attention to what comes out of your mouth. If you hear “sorry” a lot, think about whether that’s really the most appropriate word. And if it’s not, change it up. Over time, it’s a little thing that really does make a difference.