Have you ever bent over backwards seeking someone else’s approval?
This was the story of my life: I spent my first twenty-five years desperately trying to win my mother’s approval. But no matter how hard I worked I could not seem to obtain a single word of praise.
In my early childhood, I’d cry, “Mommy, look what I drew!” Nothing she replied did the trick (sigh). And it just went downhill from there. All I wanted was a crumb – just a tiny crumb – of approval. Unbeknownst to me, I was seeking the impossible; I didn’t yet approve of myself.
One night, in my mid-thirties, I had a very profound dream. In my dream, I relived my childhood, scene by scene, seeing all of the times I had sought my mom’s approval in vain. I felt the pain and sadness I’d experienced at never feeling good about myself for anything – about never having heard one single ‘nice job’. Upon awakening, I had the life-changing awareness that I’d been looking in the wrong place for that ‘nice job’.
I claimed my own source of approval and took it back to every age of myself that had missed out. I told the kindergartener, “Pretty drawing!” I told the awkward adolescent, “Keep dancing.” I told the young mother, “You’re a great mom.” As I approved of myself, I let go of self-doubt, and moved into self-confidence.
About six months after my inner revelation, we flew back East for a visit. My mom took us to the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. We played silly carnival games, watched my kids ride the roller coaster and ate cotton candy. It was the best day I could recall ever spending with my mom.
On the way back down the boards toward the car, I spotted a frantic child run past us in the opposite direction. I stopped and turned, then relaxed as my children kicked into action. My teenage daughters dashed after the boy, crooning, hugging and drying his tears. My nine-year-old son caught up, assuring the smaller boy that he was safe. Help had arrived.
While this drama was unfolding, my mother issued one complaint about the delay and then grew contemplative. As we retraced our steps after the tearful reunion with the boy’s family, she suddenly shared, “That was astonishing. I have never seen teenagers act so selflessly… You are an incredible mom to have raised such beautiful, caring children.” Here were the words I’d waited half a lifetime to hear… and I no longer needed to hear them. I just smiled and said, “Thanks, mom.” Because I had changed, my mirror had changed – naturally.
Are you seeking approval externally? If so, let that idea go; it can’t happen unless you give it to yourself.
The truth is that you are pre-approved from Spirit’s perspective. You don’t have to seek it, earn it, work for it, slave over it, try for it, beg for it or use any other method you may have attempted to obtain it in the past. It is already yours. It feels wonderful. And, best of all, it is free. Approval: claim it now!
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom!
Action Step ~ Let go of seeking approval from others and claim yourself as your own source. Declaration: “I approve of myself.”
Additional Support: Listen to this audio to cultivate Self-approval. This is a 6-minute closed-eye process; please refrain from driving while listening.