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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Just When She Was Practically Middle-aged, She Asks Some Very Elementary Questions

I'd like to outgrow my need for approval.

I don't need it all the time, but like a little baby who likes her binky and boo-boo, I still want to soothe myself on some comforting approval whenever my soul gets sleepy or sad.

When I'm being obnoxious, I want people to understand that I'm just blowing my horn. When I'm sad and sentimental, I don't want to written off. When I rant and rave, I wish it was clear that I'm mostly about entertainment value. And I want to know that it's okay to be silly just for sheer, frivolous entertainment value.

I suppose it's human nature to want to be known. Not misunderstood or misconstrued. To be known in such a way that my heart is being heard. The kind of "known" that hears past the words.

But if I truly believed that it was okay to just be myself, would I worry about disapproval? What's at the core of not feeling accepted? A willingness to alter the self to come more in line with what people around me might like more? A deep-seated suspicion that I'm actually unacceptable?

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? You'd think that by now we'd have this stuff figured out. We might have left insecurity behind, flushed down a high school toilet back in the days of feathered bangs. We'd be busy solving the real questions and problems in life.

But maybe you are- maybe you're never limping about, wallowing in self-doubt. Maybe you fill your days solving crises in Libya, leading seminars in well-being, and sipping green tea.

If so, would you mind scribbling some tips in the comments below? I promise not to judge you.


Roo said...

i recently came across this quote and it resonated with me and my struggle:
"The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia


janice said...

You know, I mostly don't care any more. Don't approve? Meh! Your problem. Maybe it is an age thing. I used to be the most self conscious thing alive.
However, I am not creating world peace, despite being unoccupied by approval seeking. The only thing I manage to generate is a paycheque and doggy love. I shall put world peace on the list for next week. This week I will be busy enjoying the above zero temperatures with my dogs.

janice said...

Oh yeah, Roo, I LOVE Buscaglia. He has lots of words of wisdom.

BTW, don't forget tomorrow is international woman's day. Don't forget to celebrate us.

Roo said...

another one i had to share...

Looking back you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life- and it was you. It is not too late to find that person again.
Robert Brault

Linda said...

When I was 20, I thought I'd have it figured out by the time I was 40. Then I turned 40 and thought I'd have to wait till 50. I hit 50 a few years ago and now I'm hoping 60 will be the magic number...Hmmm. There is a pattern emerging.