An Open Letter to Everyone I Sought Approval From

Dear one, I need you to know some things.

My desire for your approval held me back. It spurred me to do good, be good or work hard, but only to receive your blessing. Your stamp of approval. I wanted to be good for you. I wanted you to like me, love me, appreciate me or notice me. I needed it.

I’m sick thinking about how much of my life was wasted seeking your approval. Sometimes, I needed approval more than others. The recipients of this letter and the “you” in this letter is many.

I cannot believe I let what you would think of me dictate my words or actions. I’m most broken up about how my desire for your approval kept me silent.

I couldn’t speak my mind freely because of my fear of your judgement.

I couldn’t share my hopes, my fears, my dreams, my struggles or my ideas because you might not approve.

Trying to gain your favor caused me to not be fully me. My efforts to be in your good graces cost me opportunities and relationships.

Who are you, anyway?

Sure, you are special. You are worthy. You are deserving.

But you are not more than me. You do not hold power over me. I don’t mean that in anger. I might be a person someone seeks approval from, and I know nothing about it. Plus, I would never want to use someone’s desire for my approval for my own gain, so I assume, unless you are a sociopath, you wouldn’t either even if you did happen to notice.

I am setting myself free. I seek no one's approval. Not yours. Not his. Not hers. Not theirs.

My main concern is how I feel about myself. Do I approve of the person I am striving to become?

I am the one I go to sleep with every single night. I am the one who stares back at me in the mirror. How much I accept and approve of myself matters most. Above all.

Sidebar: Dare I say, how you feel about yourself matters even more than how your God feels about you. I know, blasphemy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t love, serve and honor your God, I’m saying, you should seek your approval over anyone’s, because even though I know God loves me, seeking His approval did not lead me to approving of or accepting myself.

Case in point: that sidebar wouldn’t be in this post if I were seeking anyone’s approval. I am scared that part is so controversial, and so out of step with mainstream Christianity, that people will label me. What’s sad is I love God and others more now that I have opened my heart to being able to love myself first. Isn’t that good news? I am a better human on the inside and out now that I love and accept myself.

I no longer seek your approval.

You can think what you want of me. If you even think of me at all.

Warmest Regards,

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