No, no, this post isn’t about Facebook posts or pages. It’s about feeling a need to be accepted, liked, loved, wanted by people who clearly haven’t the authority, WORTHINESS, or desire to do so. Yeah. I said it.
Let’s start this with a story. I’ve always been a fairly shy person, not really loud, and though tall and skinny, invisible. I existed as my mothers shadow, my fathers irritant, and my sisters imitator. As a teen and adult, I was fun, but only to a select few who I could truly be myself around. Everywhere else, I didn’t feel like I mattered.
That feeling of not being important and not being valuable to others left me with a strong desire for validation and love–especially from men and Caucasian people. (Hey, if we’re going to be transparent, let’s be really transparent and honest. We are not in a post-racial society.) Of course, my efforts weren’t fulfilled, because when I finally got the relationship or the job or accepting “you’re cool, unlike the others” nod, I still didn’t feel FILLED.
Back in 2007, it finnnnnnallly hit me that I was doing everything all wrong. At the time, I nursed an affection for a good friend of mine, a handsome young man named Jon. We chatted everyday, just about, but there was no romantic inclination on his part. After feeling tired of the growing frustration of not having a “real” relationship, I confessed my love for him. Why on EARTH did I do that?
Quick answer: I was in effect asking him to love me. When met with his perfectly okay REJECTION, I amazingly shrugged it off and decided for myself that hey, if he doesn’t want me, then I don’t want him for myself. A YouTube video that I saw online uttering those exact same word confirmed that no one should want for themselves someone who isn’t absolutely enamored, impressed, or desirous of being in their space.
This isn’t about being conceited or entitled. It’s about knowing your value, your worth, and the impact you have on the world. If you aren’t 100% sure of what you bring to the world, simply by existing, then the work of figuring that out and being confident of it is what needs to be done. After all, like I mentioned yesterday, if you’re not clear on what value you bring, how will you communicate it to others?
In this case, communicating your worth has nothing to do with saying anything. It’s communicated with who you are, how you act, what you do, how you BE (slang to emphasize your BE-ING and existence). I have poems and poems galore written within the time frame of 2005 to 2007 that refer to being an actress, performer and contortionists when I was in the space of trying so hard to get men to like me and fake friends to like me and getting a raise and getting on folks good side. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Living that life of begging people to like or forgive you, or to be in your life when they have demonstrated their desire to do otherwise is a futile existence. You can do you, and even be the BEST possible you and hope they like that. Otherwise, leave it alone. After all, putting them in a position of God and judge can interrupt your efforts to be found approved and favored by the REAL God and Judge.
Replace that need for others to be your validation with an effort to please your need for self-validation and self-valuation. Replace God in His place in your life instead of letting others be the all important deciders of what is right or wrong with you. Not rebellious, you just can’t live a life where other people determine your ultimate happiness or acceptance of yourself.
The simple adage you have to love yourself first is true. Simple doesn’t mean easy. Part of the process of loving yourself is getting to know yourself. To know thyself is golden! It takes time and you will surely see things that impress you and things that you need to chaff away. Know. Refine. Love. Repeat.
Let’s revisit business and career under this context. If somebody is making it extremely unreasonably difficult to work with and your instincts and intuition is telling you they don’t like you or want you, pack up your bags, dust off your feet and shoulders and get to booking. There is an abundance of other people and opportunities that are available to you without losing your self-respect and dignity.
This comes to genuine apologies too. You have done so much wrong in your life, you can’t even recount. Little stuff, HUGE things. Surely, you absolutely need to apologize to somebody, if you’re humble enough to admit it. BUT, and listen to me closely–I’m only gonna say this once and I’m not going to say it again–after you do all you humanly can to apologize, right the wrong, repair the relationship and appease a higher power, do not, and I repeat do not irritate them by trying to MAKE them forgive you. If they don’t forgive you, allow them the dignity to not do so, and move on with your life.
Stop begging people to love you. It should be readily apparent that you are lovable. If not, introspection may be necessary, but I’ll be dog gone, to let another person define what I should be or how I should act simply to make them feel in control. Chances are any “acceptance” they give is counterfeit and you just don’t need it. Just. Don’t. Need. It.
Your goal is to live a full life, a happy life. Putting someone in charge of that is dangerous and a real gamble. Please take back that responsibility or even redirect it to an ultimate personage, but not the next man.
Now, your turn. How are you proving to yourself your magnificence and knowing your undeniable value? Please comment below to create the dialogue that needs to happen around this and to encourage others. I look forward to being sharpened by what you share.