I love authentic people, and living authentically is probably my highest value in life. When I love people, it’s about as authentic as humanly possible. With that said, one of my biggest lessons is that it’s not my job to save people.
When you’re authentic, your life becomes great, and not everyone is going to be comfortable with that. Sometimes you compromise yourself, but that’s not something you can keep up and be happy. I’ve had to let go and let God many times.
For idealistic people, burnout is a real danger. Our minds give us energy, but our body needs to rest and have real food, not just ideas. We need to take care of ourselves.
On the journey of self-improvement (it’s a journey not a destination), you never know what’s going to be a profoundly transformative experience. Right now, my big transformation is letting go of living up to my parents’ expectations, which ultimately is what letting go of approval seeking is all about. There’s a feeling of grief and sadness in saying goodbye to an old version of myself.
Much of self-improvement is preparation. You prepare yourself–spirit, thoughts, emotions, body–for that moment when something ignites your soul on fire. While it’s exhilarating to expand into a greater version of yourself, there must be a cooling down period in which things must reform.
We can never go back to the way things were, but sometimes we want to. When we can stop wanting to go back, then we can truly go forward. We have to want to change before it can happen.
Sometimes I wonder why it’s so quick and easy for me to focus love onto others, but focusing that same love on myself feels foreign. It’s one of those unfamiliar things that I’m devoted to becoming familiar with. As I look upon myself with the same admiration, esteem, friendliness, and respect that I afford others, I feel at peace.
Choosing to no longer seek the approval of (and trying to please) others may be the most challenging thing we ever face. Sometimes anger is our only way out, but when the anger subsides, we can feel the familiar pull of old habits. However (and whenever) it happens, turning the corner is the difference between night and day.
The Great Equalizer
Happiness is the great equalizer. We can never really tell if anyone else is truly happy. We can never truly make anyone else happy unless they really want to be happy.
I have to admit that as focused and (authentically) happy as I am now, through everything I’ve learned and overcome, there’s still pain and resistance to being happy, which requires all of my wisdom (as well as others) in order to find peace. It takes a deep and abiding appreciation of the journey and the process of life. We weren’t born to please others; we were born to be true to ourselves, and the sooner we realize that, the better we’ll feel.
I have found that in being true to myself, compromise is compromising, and it is a weakness. I know when I’ve compromised myself, and that is always the greatest source of regret. It’s when you let yourself down that hurts the most.
I’ve strengthened my inner strength by not letting myself down, being my own best friend, and supporting myself, no matter how difficult it was at first.
My self-worth used to come from other people and external things, and it felt nearly impossible to unplug from that, but it is possible, and for me, the only way to live happily.
Approval-seeking and people-pleasing is an emotional addiction, and the only way out (that I’ve found) is to become hooked on your own soul.
Today, I’m as free as the day I was born. I feel innocent and pure. Not because I’m doing anything, but because I’ve chosen to be uncompromisingly true to myself.
I dreamt that I was in a dark pool of water and was trying to put a snake inside a bag, but it got free and started swimming after me, at which point I woke up with a start.
I found some interesting information about the symbolism of the snake at the site below:
As a person who naturally sees the good in everyone, one of the hardest things for me to realize is that some people just aren’t that good, or at least not good for me (which is the only thing I can honestly judge). I know this intellectually, but feelings of guilt sometimes threaten to overwhelm me.
I’ve faced these inner demons before, and continue to face them, and I’m much stronger and healthier now.
I was looking for the love of my mother, father, women, men, employers, and even strangers, but finally saw that the love I was seeking was my own. In my darkest hour, all I could say was “God loves me” over and over, and that turned out to be the truth. Self-hatred was such a burden; poisonous, dark and destructive.
So where am I now?
Well, the self-hatred is still there, sometimes, but I don’t think it’s real; no more real than self-love. I see that I can choose either one, and not blame; not give up my power. I can reclaim and remember my birthright.
I know who I truly am.
What came before is an interesting story, but it’s all just stories in the end.