Chained to approval
Just reading the quote puts a lump in my throat.
“I do not owe a single person an explanation for why I'm living my life the way I am or why I do the things I do. “
I’m chained to approval.
It's something I have been working on for months now. For the longest time, I did not even know I was a people pleaser but it turns out not only was I a people pleaser I was raised by a people pleaser.
Dress this way to be a pretty girl, act this way to be a classy lady, be good at this so you go far, be helpful for the teacher, do good in a career so you can have the lifestyle, listen to everyone and always nod in agreement.
Just all of it.
Do you know what that does to a kid?! It grooms them to associate happiness in life with approval of others. Acceptance by all is not humanly possible. It is even worse when you live your life (for some people their entire life) pursuing happiness sourced through others. It was not until early 2020 that I realized my deeply rooted performance issues were tied to the opinions of others.
I NEVER thought I was a people pleaser. I thought I enjoyed making people happy. You see, the difference there is who has control of your happiness. Are you happy day in and day out or do you need someone to fluff you up daily? Do you love your body, or do you need to be told your beautiful at which point you still shrug it off? Do you lead a life that you would be happy with your children living?
I can recall as young as 11 being insecure in my body. I love my mom, but I had to break that. For as long as I can remember she talked terribly about herself. I remember never going on a vacation because she did not like the idea of being at the beach with STRANGERS in a swimsuit. We never went hiking or even to play tennis (in which she won championships in high school) because she was more concerned about her body.
During my last depression spell, I felt absolutely disgusted with myself. So, I started spending 5 minutes on myself a day. Applying lotion was my first step. I would rub it all over and speak affirmations OUT LOUD. “Dang girl, I can feel that body changing. Is that a muscle I see? I feel myself getting stronger daily. You nourish your body so well. You are worthy. You are enough.”
Do I have days when I ask my husband “Can I wear this?” Absolutely. Are there days I look in the mirror and think I’m just really not where I want to be? Heck yes, but for the first time in my life I crave adventure because I know my body is able. I work on it daily so that I can be more at peace in my skin.
I work on myself daily because it is no one’s job to praise me into self-worthiness.