After a summer of dry writing bones, I decided a day late to participate in the October #write31days challenge. I came in with no expectations, no plan, and no need for approval of others. I know I’m not the only one who’s heart waits for likes, followers, and who lives with a secret fantasy of a standing ovation. I know this, because having this kind of approval is a deep longing of the human heart. As Christians, we shame ourselves for selfish and prideful desires and we keep them hidden under a prayer of repentance, but the truth is, we were created with such yearnings. We were made to be beautiful, to be great, to be significant.
It’s not the longings that are the problem. The problem is where I look to find their fulfillment. For most of my life, I sought for my approval outside of myself, in others. I needed others to tell me I was good enough, beautiful enough, talented enough. It started with my parents, then friends, then society. I was always seeking the nod of everyone outside of myself, and seeking approval of others is a fast and furious train to the outer limits, it’s an the never ending story that never seems to get to it’s destination. It’s super easy to find myself on the train, racing to get to some magical successful station, it’s a sexy promise of significance, of greatness.
The easy counter offer to this miserable ride, is God. I must find my fulfillment in God, and even though I agree with this statement, there’s been an error in this process, because I still have sought for acceptance from out there somewhere. I was still seeking to win the approval of the cosmic God outside of myself. If only I can be good enough, holy enough, pious enough to win the nod of the unseen holy force. If only he will accept me, and if only I can keep his approval, but deep down I believed God was just as fickle as Bieber fans.
It’s not until I turned from outward to inward, did I discover the fountain of fulfillment. The Infinite within me became the source of my approval and my significance, for my very existence reflects my greatness. I don’t need to find fulfillment, but rather I am fulfilled needing to see it. My time on earth is not meant to win God’s approval, I was approved the second my heart beat deep inside my mother. I’m not winning the gaze of God, by pounding my unworthy chest, because I became worthy the second Love exhaled his breath in me, and we became one. I never again have to thank God for letting me off the hook, because I now know I was never on the hook.
I still find myself getting on the approval train often, you know, when I stop believing I’m accepted, and began to look for the nod of others. Now that I’m aware of this, I know it’s nothing to be ashamed of, because it’s a quiet train, one of the modern ultra quiet electric one. It slips into the station, it’s glossy shine lures me in. All I want to do is touch the golden leather seats, and before I know it, the whizzing tracks are lulling me to sleep.
I know when I’m on the wrong train heading in the wrong direction, because I find myself lamenting on my bed, as one who’s lover has left. Depressed, sick, and lonely, I can’t find the fascination I once had. My eyes are no longer awestruck. I’m waiting for more likes, and I keep asking, how does she have so many followers? I know I’m on the wrong train when I began to feel sorry for myself.
October 2, I got off the train again. I showed up to my life and my writing, just for me. I reminded myself that I’m already approved, and I was created to create. For the month of October, I practiced creating just for the sake of creating. I answered the call of Love to leap over the mountain tops, just because that’s what I needed to do to feel my significance, to feel my greatness.
It was an imperfect month (I mean, I’m even writing this post two days late), but I showed up, and that’s all that matters.
I feel the thrill once again.