March 4, 2013

Want To Be Loved?

Servitude debases people to the point where they end up liking it. ~Vauvenargues

Talk about guilty pleasure! What a joy it is to learn that building self-esteem doesn't require us to please anybody but ourselves. Can it really be? There must be a catch somewhere. It sounds too good to be true, or at least true for us.

Many of us have spent most of our lives in the service of other people. In our growing up years, we learned that that was our ticket for love and approval. Want to be loved? Make someone else happy. Want a pat on the head? Do their work for them. That's how we learned to look outside ourselves for our self-esteem. That's what made us virtual slaves to the wishes and needs of others.

Now that we're adults, old knee-jerk reactions will still tempt us to reach out for that brass ring. But now that we know better, we're going to be much less comfortable about giving away all that power. As we take it back little by little, so do we take custody of our self-esteem.

My self-approval no longer depends on other people's responses.

H/T: Believing In Myself

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