Live your best life …
I found this quote in Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is, and I think she has ‘hit the nail on the head’ so to speak.
“If I had a prayer, it would be this: God spare me from the desire for love, approval or appreciation. Amen.”
At first glance you may wonder why she would pray such a prayer. The clue is in the word ‘desire’. The dictionary meaning for the word ‘desire’ is as follows : to wish for; or long for; crave or want. If we substitute the dictionary definition into the quote, it reads like this:
” God, spare me from wishing for love, approval or appreciation. God, spare me from longing for love, approval or appreciation. God, spare me from craving love, approval or appreciation.
When Katie’s prayer is paraphrased like this, there is an air of desperation and powerlessness about it. Popular culture promotes wishing, longing and craving for love, approval and appreciation and I suspect we have all had experience at all three states of mind. So, why doesn’t it work?
When we crave love, we tend to make the other person responsible for our happiness. This is a very weak position because we cannot control what another person will do , think or say. We may also ‘play a role’ ( be on our best behaviour-something not able to be sustained in the long term) to get what we desire. In both scenarios, our power is given away so we are left feeling vulnerable and anxious.
When we crave approval, we tend to ‘bend over backwards’ to impress the object of our desire and consequently get ‘bent out of shape’. We agree to do things we would not normally do, so that we appear ‘nice’ or accommodating or so people will like us. We try too hard. We are relying on others to bolster our self esteem.
When we crave appreciation, we give of ourselves to others but there are strings attached. Our giving is not selfless. We may develop a sense of entitlement as we rely on others for our emotional well being.
In each situation, we expect another person to do for us what we must first do for ourselves, that is give ourselves the love, approval and appreciation we deserve.
The deal is that we are responsible for our own happiness and peace of mind. Giving this responsibility to someone else (however well meaning) just does not work because it is not meant to.
Your happiness is your business and who do you think needs to take care of your business?
Be kind to yourself