Have you been climbing the approval ladder?

By August 1, 2008Blog

Sounds like a strange question, however, I have been wondering this. In keeping with the last few posts, I am processing some past issues and feelings that involve people in my life that were passive aggressive, critical, resentful and not open and honest. I am continually amazed at how many people, I now realize, are not honest. Sounds like a huge accusation, let me explain. I do not think they see it this way. I was one of these people. I am talking about “nice” people who don’t say how they really feel because they are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or they are afraid of upsetting others or are afraid of confrontation. I am talking about “controlling” and “critical” people who think they know what is right for everyone and want everyone to act and behave as they feel. I am talking about people who do not say how they feel and hold it inside and let it build up and harbour deep resentment they never tell you about and then explode over nothing, or very little Get the picture?

I was one these so called “nice” people. I was programmed as a child to be as nice as I could, this included acquiescing to what my parents wanted me to be and do ,even if it went against who I really was. Most kids learn this to one degree or another, learn what will get them the love, attention or things they desire, and so learn to act in accordance with it. This brings us out of sync with our own internal guidance and our true selves. We learn to act needy, or desperate, we learn that our parents will only give us something if we really plead a case about how sad or overworked we are and then we get what we want. Well, whether you realize it or not, if your parents wanted you to toughen up and deal with it, thought you were being too sensitive or only gave you attention if you worked excessively hard, this programs you to how you think you get things in life.

As adults we just translate this into another version. We work ourselves to death at work thinking this is the only way to succeed, we feel we have to give up who we are to be loved by someone else…on and on it goes. These things are so ingrained in us, we rarely realize they are what is running our emotions, actions, thoughts and hence, our life.

I was raised to feel I was never good enough, I had to keep changing who I was, working hard and soon to get the approval and love I so desired form my parents and in the end, it was never enough, never ill be. They presented themselves as fair, honest and highly superior to me. I never understood what they wanted so I always felt like things would drop out of the sky, out of the blue I would be going along, all happy thinking life was great and suddenly they were mad or disapproved or disappointed in me. Crash…there I was at the bottom of the approval ladder once again and not understanding why. In the end I realized what it taught me was being me, what came natural tome, was wrong. Of course it is not and in fact that is what I was supposed to be doing all along, but <I wanted their love and so I jumped through their hoops to try to get it. This meant they wanted me to feel, act like them, I can’t, I am not them. No one can.

This is the key to life that it takes so many of us so long to realize. Getting out of that thinking, that is so deeply infused in us for so long, can feel strange and unfamiliar at first.

What I am realizing on this trip, as I discussed the last few days, see blogs 1, 2, 3, is that there is still a small belief inside me that says “Being you is not liked by others, so watch out, sooner or later they will not like you, they will disapprove, they will attack, leave or hurt you. The “penny” could drop at any moment and then their real feelings will come out and they will dump all over you”. You se, I was used to people who did not always express what they really thought or felt and then would have enough and explode. My ex husband was a classic passive aggressive who did this for 26 years before >I figured out what was going on. Essentially I have been liking on eggshells always wondering when someone was going to turn on me.

Thankfully, I am strong willed, so despite this I have lived much of my life very happy and doing things I love, despite this. It meant I often did not enjoy it fully, however, I have gotten to where I feel I am about 90-95% living as myself and not for others. Now and then these challenges arise and I see one more piece it is time to let go of. On this trip feelings, fears and such were coming up, odd things were manifesting to show me I had some things to clear and what finally got through to me was, my beloved!

YEAH! A happy way to expand, heal and clear…isn’t that great? I was looking at my most wonderful boyfriend, Chris and thinking how loving, kind, patient and honest he is. I always know he will tell me how he feels and he knows who he is and it is not dependent on me being anything other than who I am He loves me for me, (something I thought my ex did, as well, but it was a he façade). Life with him is fun and peaceful and loving. Travelling with him is the same. Yet after over 2 years with this amazing man, I realized I had a belief that any moment even he would explode and begin to attack me, hurt ,me or leave me. I was still, somewhere inside me, waiting for the shoe to drop and for him to start criticising me and telling me how he really did not like this that and the other thing. SHIOCK!

SO my healing now is realizing that yes, peace, love and honest communication do exist, I am living it, even though my old programming was still trying to tell me to be afraid and nervous and on alert! What am I doing to release that? Enjoying the peace, allowing the love, sinking in to the reality I have created of someone who is honest, loves himself and me, and who is genuine, authentic and fun. Allowing this to sink in was not easy at first, but it is way worth it, so I move on and each moment, I release more of my past and open to moiré of the ideal life I have created. It is here now and I was not even letting it in or realizing it was here. How many other things do I have in my life that I just don’t see yet? Hmmm….I am excited to see.