A common pattern that I have found in my once upon a time life is that I relied heavily upon excuses. Even though I want to live a life without excuses. Offering an excuse was one of my default settings. I chose excuses to calm other people’s anger, hurt, shame, guilt, sorrow, etc. I chose excuses to silence the critics – external and internal. I would make a choice in how I was going to live and then feel the need to explain or justify my choices and motives.
I helped others avoid recognizing and living in truth about the consequences of their choices – choices that harmed my life or spread toxicity between us, choices that distanced us from one another. I offered an excuse to help ease their burden…to let them off the hook for their harmful behavior.
Then I Started asking myself HOW I wanted to live…and here I find myself learning to live a life without excuses.
How Does That Work Exactly?
Some of us feel like we need to explain our life to those who are watching. I have done this. I have used this space even (my writing) to excuse – explain my choices. I have used this space to justify how and why and where and what I choose to live. Like I need an audience to approve it.
It is not my life on my terms before my God – but instead my life on terms another person approves. Yuck.
Living a life of excuses means that somewhere deep inside we believe (consciously, subconsciously) that we need to explain our behavior – that we need to justify who and what and how we are to the watching world.
And frankly that is not the case.
ex·cuseverb3rd person present: excuses ikˈskyo͞oz/
- attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
nounplural noun: excusesikˈskyo͞os/
- a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.
Our excuses and justifications do one of two things:
Excuses either offer someone the opportunity to shift the blame about how they have acted inappropriately in our lives. Our excuses hand them reasons to explain away their own behavior.
Our excuses insinuate that we believe or feel that what we were/are doing with our lives is wrong. We are helping others confirm what they believe to be true about us when we offer excuses for our choices.
I want to live an excuses free life.
To live the way you need to live – is not wrong. To include or exclude. To let things go. To release people, places, things, or ideas from your life. Whether they are toxic or good things – it is OK to let them go and grab what you require to live a wholehearted life.
There are many things that promote wholeness and health that you will do with your life that are going to offend someone watching, but you do not need to offer excuses.
No More Excuses
As a woman I seem to be programmed to offer up the most excuses and apologies for my “behavior.”
Frankly I find it annoying when other women do this that I have found myself saying, “You do NOT need to apologize to me for…. doing your job, speaking your truth, offering a suggestion, living your life, etc.”
Yes, there are consequences for how we choose to live – but some consequences are worth it.
If finding wholeness and voice and truth and yourself means you have to allow some people to feel hurt in the process then live your truth.
You grab a chunk of that truth and hold on for dear life.
Your truth is not going to leap off the page and harm someone.
Your truthful words in love – your story – is not going to grab a knife and murder someone.
Those watching and hearing the real you for the first time may feel hurt or sorrow or anger at what you choose, but you get one life to live.
They may experience anger if you have been silent for too long.
If you have been faking it and you choose not to live like that anymore – they will likely be angry and lacking understanding because of the disconnect – because of all the ways they assumed that no longer hold weight.
You get to do this thing called life once… one time. How you choose to live it matters. Authenticity is essential. And living honestly before others makes a difference.
And no matter how you choose to live it there is always going to be at least one person watching who is angered, hurt, offended, sad, whatever at the choices you have to make.
Now I am not saying slam everybody and to hell with the consequences…
What I am saying that it is OK to live your life on your terms without making excuses.
You do not have to explain yourself away.
Frankly it is better if you do NOT excuse yourself away.
Let your, “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no” and your truth be your truth.
Because there will always be at least one person who says your “yes” – isn’t good enough, and there will always be at least person who finds your “no” …offensive.
However always keep in your mind HOW you want to live.
I want to be more kind, more loving, more joy, more peace, more patience, more kindness, more gentleness, and more self-control. These are what the Christian faith call the “Fruits of the Spirit.” As a follower of Jesus I want to be more and more of those things every single day. However that does not mean that in the process I have to offer up excuses for my life so that those watching feel better about themselves.
When I have the opportunity to choose love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control – I want to try to lean towards those things.
I can choose to live my own life – without being a snarky bitch about it. I don’t owe explanations. But I do owe truth.
I owe it to those around me and to myself before my God to live authentically and honestly.
If in the process of finding authenticity and truth others are angered by our real – that is OK.
Let them be angry, be hurt, be sad, be judgmental
and then go live your life anyways.