Observe a young child when you have guests around. The child has been well fed, has had its nap and the parents have ensured that it is surrounded by plenty of toys. Now you expect to spend some good time with your friends. As soon as you get a new topic circulating the child picks up one of its toys and jumps right in the middle of the forum seeking attention from its parents about what it has been doing. A little bit distraction and some cooing, you get going again. But the child butts in again wanting the mother (and if possible everyone else) to concentrate only on what the child is doing. It insists on showing how it has twisted the dolls arm and wants to be appreciated for it. If you try to go ahead with the conversation, the child tries harder to get not only attention but approval for the mess it has created… and it goes on at least till one of the parent decides to move out with the child.
To you the child was a real irritant even if it was your own child. Why couldn’t it play on its own? It had everything needed so why can it be just happy with playing by itself?
Nothing much changes when we grow up, right?
We are in constant need of approval and appreciation from all those around us and more so from the people closest to us. And it is a natural need too. But what creates problem is when we are not able to be happy in the absence of other’s approval and appreciation of us.
“He did not say a single word of appreciation for my new dress”… very commonly heard and experienced complaint. Where does it come from? If you have gone all out to buy a dress of your choice, you have really liked it and you have loved what you saw in the mirror this morning (Hopefully!) and yet you crave for the appreciation. God forbid if the reaction of even one important person towards this dress is not the enthusiastic favorable one… well … you very well know what will happen to the poor dress…
And that is where is the relevance of my earlier pun- Did you really love what you saw I the mirror that morning? Because if you really did, you would still seek out some complements because it just feels great to do so, but negative or uninterested responses would not have hurt you.
Do you really love yourself? All of you? As you are? Do you trust yourself? Are you confident of your choices? Are you happy with what you are and what you have? Think again… if you constantly seek for other’s approval, if you slide down the swamp of depression in the absence of expected appreciation, if you seek ten opinions and then some more on your choices, there is a serious case of lack of genuine love and respect for self.
You are not the only one. The stage is set for this showdown right from our childhood when our intelligence, capacity, talent and everything else is left to the mercies of the school report card. When the approval of teacher or a parent is given the maximum importance and drilled in our mind as a virtue, that is what we grow up to be- eternally insecure, unsure, appreciation seeking, indecisive adults.
Move ahead. You are the best that you have and you are unique. Where ever you are- accept yourself, howsoever you are- love yourself. There is a scope of improvement even for the perfect, But let that not stop yourself from believing in yourself!
Dr.Sapna Sharma is a renowned Spiritual Counselor & Life Coach from Nagpur. Visit her website here.
Title image: come2drum