So i wrote an article and it was picked up by my editor, which means success! Money! Well done!
And today my wife mentioned that it’s May 4th tomorrow: Star Wars Day, and I immediately thought I could write another article and repeat that feeling of success and income and achievement.
Except that the moment I started it felt like a dry uphill battle. And then I started feeling physically uncomfortable and I started feeling some pain.
Okay. Let’s stop. This is pretty clear feedback.
For a number of years I’ve wanted some kind of formula for success – a task or work I can throw myself into and be applauded and rewarded for it.
But when I try, when I think “this is it!” bad things happen.
I really should just admit that I’m acting out of something negative. But it’s so enticing! I can just imagine this being the start of a whole series of great articles that build and build and bring me success and pride and please the people around me too.
I’ll be fitting in, finding my place, pleasing my superiors and placating those who’ve worried about me.
I’ll finally have an answer for the people who’ve demanded to know “what are you doing with your life?”
This is pretty cool contrast
I really don’t want writing to put me in physical pain, and I know there’s an issue here that would really benefit from my focus.
And I suspect the issue is: thinking that I must do something to win approval.
I’m actually really well accustomed to not feeling approved of, so much so that I sometimes leap at the chance to help people important to me.
But that’s still operating under the false premise that I require other people’s approval in order to feel good. I might have given up on it, but I still feel the weight of that premise.
All good feeling comes from within
Back to basics: it’s not our circumstances that make us feel good or bad, it’s the thoughts we focus on and their relative degree of alignment with our inner being, our “God’s eye view”.
Thinking that I need other people’s approval feels bad because it is not true and it is resistant to the love and appreciation that already flows to me from within.
My impulse to write another article was an attempt to use action to change my circumstances so I could feel better. That never works.
But that doesn’t mean I should resign myself once more to living without approval.
Feeling comes first
The only reason I wanted approval in the first place was because I thought I would feel good if I had it, and I believed I would get it if I found some work I could take pride in and earn money from.
Let’s go positive with this.
How would it feel to have approval of all the important people in my life?
It would actually feel really good.
But here’s the thing: In the moment I imagined that approval and felt that good feeling, I was simply allowing a good feeling to flow from within me.
That good feeling was always accessible within me. I just disallowed it because I thought I actually needed others to provide it.
In that sense does the feeling of “approval” ever come from others? No. It always comes from within us. It is our own allowing of approval to flow.