(written February 21, 2017)
This morning I was listening to a sermon by Craig Scroggins, a pastor for North Point Community Church, called White Noise: Lonely But Not Alone.
White noise is the noise we turn on to mask or drown other sounds. For instance, listening to the sound of a river blocks the sounds of cars, someone snoring, or other distracting noises that may interrupt our sleep.
Using white noise as an analogy, this series centers on how we use white noise to mask emotions. Last week the discussion focused on the ways we mask the pain of loneliness, something I was all too familiar with.
This week’s dialogue focused on receiving approval from others.
Approval and Worth
I have always looked to others for my approval and worth.
As I’ve gone through recovery, I don’t search for approval as much as I used to. I will admit, I still do it. I don’t think we can ever completely let go of wondering how other people see us. That’s why we focus on how many “likes” we get on Facebook.
Seeing how others respond to us, allows us to question our motives, figure out who we are, understand who we want to be, and propels us to grow and change.
However, we need to be careful.
When our worth is tied to what other people think and we believe we don’t live up to “their” standards, we can easily create a negative self-image.
Unfortunately, this is where my mind goes when I think about my ex and my divorce.
Once again, last night, talking with my daughter while they were over at my ex’s male friend’s house, I had that familiar pain originate in my gut, then radiate throughout my body. My thoughts dwelled on how he was worthier than I and, as I was told, he made her feel safe.
The feeling of rejection and being replaced crept in. It’s the feeling I keep asking myself, “will it ever leave?”
From God, not For Others
Craig Scroggins stated, “You need to live from God’s approval, rather than for other people’s approval.”
FROM God, not FOR others!
You need to live from God’s approval, rather than for other people’s approval. Click To Tweet
For those of my Fledglings that may struggle with religion, replace God with Higher Power, the Universe, or anything else you’d like. Or better yet…
Live from your dog’s approval, rather than for your cat’s approval.
I actually like that one! Think about how dogs love us unconditionally, but we have to earn the love from our cats, and only when they want to give it.
You need to live from your dog’s approval, rather than for your cat’s approval. Click To Tweet
The point is: you already have worth.
You were worthy when you were first born. You had value as an infant. No one can take that away from you.
You already have a Stamp of Approval.
“When you go looking for love from someone else or something else, you have given them the stamp of approval God has given you. When you live as though He gave approval to you, no one can take it away from you. Because, they are not the one who gave it to you in the first place.”
Why give your approval away to someone else?
Why do I give it away to my ex?
Quotes from White Noise: The Stamp of Approval
Here’s more from Craig Scroggins:
What would our world look like if we decided to take approval for our jobs rather than go to our jobs for approval?
What would it look like if you took approval to money, cash, or credit? What would it give you? Financial Freedom? Financial pressure is awful. Money, stuff, it doesn’t own me. I am free.
What would it look like if you brought approval to the gym? You brought approval so you can live a healthy life style so you can be used to your best potential, not so you can look good and have others approve of you.
I’m free of being owned by the approval of others because I’m living from approval, not for it.
What about relationships? If you’re married you know, ‘I can’t get all that I need out of this relationship.’ That doesn’t mean you have a bad marriage. That means you’re a healthy person. Because you can’t!
But what if you brought approval to it? I’m going to be in this relationship for you, I’m not going to be in this relationship for me. I believe that’s God’s goal for us in relationships anyway.
Have you been in a relationship where someone has been in the relationship for themselves? All of us have. Nothing’s worse.
But what if you could be in the relationship for the other person? I’m in this for you. There’s no approval you could give me. I want you to like me. I want you to love me. I want to feel accepted by you, but God’s already given it to me, so now I can just be free to love you. I can be free to give to you what He’s given me.
As long as we’re seeking our worth in anything else other than His approval, we’re just going to wear ourselves out. It’s exhausting. And it was not the way you were meant to live.
What if you and I decided that we were going to live from God’s approval rather than for other’s approval?
I believe this will change our life.
And My Higher Power Said “No”
I talked briefly about approval and God with Rafiki. He sent me this poem (replacing God with Higher Power):
I asked my Higher Power to take away my pride.
My Higher Power said, “No. It is not for me to take away but for you to give up.”
I asked my Higher Power to make my handicapped child whole.
My Higher Power said, “No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.”
I asked my Higher Power to grant me patience.
My Higher Power said, “No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations. It isn’t granted, it’s earned.”
I asked my Higher Power to give me happiness.
My Higher Power said, “No. I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.”
I asked my Higher Power to spare me pain.
My Higher Power said, “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”
I asked my Higher Power to make my spirit grow.
My Higher Power said, “No. You must grow on your own. But I will prune you to make you fruitful.”
I asked my Higher Power for all things that I might enjoy life.
My Higher Power said, “No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”
I asked my Higher Power to help me love others, as much as he loves me.
And my Higher Power said, “Ah, finally you have the idea!”
-by Claudia Minden Weisz
This day is yours, don’t throw it away.
To the world, you might just be one person. But to one person, you might be the world.
Let God Be Your Comforter
In my daily Divorce Support emails, I received this today:
The tendency to look for nurture and rescue in a new relationship is strong, especially because it feels good and right after all the pain you have been experiencing…
… You never want to be needy when getting involved in a new relationship. Learn how to be single and how to be whole and fulfilled first. Also, learn about relationships and what makes relationships successful in God’s eyes….
… If your heart is crying out to be nurtured and rescued from the pain and despair, let God be your comforter…
I’m not looking for a new relationship, but I search for that nurture and rescue in my hope and belief that my ex will change her mind. I’m not as bad as I used to be, but my energy level has always been that I needed her to survive and for me to feel secure. I needed her to validate my worth. I needed her stamp of approval.
What a lot of pressure I placed on her!
We release a crushing burden on others, when we learn that we are already loved and approved. When we realize we’re valuable, we can love ourselves deeply, opening the door to letting others love us and to loving others.
You Have Been Given the Stamp of Approval
You don’t need someone else to give you worth. Only YOU can make you happy.
You have already been given the Stamp of Approval!
You are loved. You are valuable. You are worthy. You have been forgiven for poor choices from your past.
Learn to love and accept yourself for who you are, even with all your flaws. Learn how to take care of your inner child and hold him or her in your arms.
Nurture your inner child so that Together We Can Heal.