" To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgment, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.”
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
"People who want the most approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most."
~ Wayne Dyer
“We can secure other people's approval, if we do right and try hard; but our own is worth a hundred of it, and no way has been found out of securing that”
~ Mark Twain
I'm happy when I'm liked... I'm also happy when I'm not liked, and that's a new attitude for me.
Like many, I zealously tried to be widely liked and accepted, at the detriment of my own self-worth in my teens. I spent so much time defining myself by how many people liked me, and how many friends I had.
In my early twenties, I recognized that it was the quality of the people surrounding me, not the quantity. But that didn't stop be from letting toxic people in my life. They weren't good friends, or good for me, but they liked me... so that must mean something.
The best lesson I ever learned was that someone's feeling about you have NO IMPACT on who you are. I know I am a good woman! If you agree, cool... if you don't agree, that's cool too!
In closing, I want to share some powerful words from Marianne Williamson, used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech. When I first read these words, many years ago (Special shout-out to my Pirate Sistah and Bad-ass Blogger, Simone for sharing it!) it knocked my socks off and affected me in a profound way. When writing this post, I could't think of a better way to drive this message of self-acceptance home.
When we seek out the approval of others, we send a message to ourselves that there is something lacking, something incomplete.... when in reality, we are all very whole, ever-evolving, beautiful... and blessed.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us.
And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Today, I recognize that I approve of myself and that's all that matters.