(My riff as a transwoman in recovery on the PurposeFairy series 9 Reasons Why You Should No Longer Care About People’s Approval; all creative credit belongs to to that author.)
I and thousands of other Minnesotans are spending gobs of time and energy working to defeat the marriage amendment to the state constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman. I believe it’s important to make a distinction here: that investment is not about seeking approval but insisting on rights. I’m willing to spend those gobs of time telling people why marriage rights are important to me and to our neighbors. I’m willing to spend that time building bridges of understanding between gender-variant people and the larger community. I’m not willing to spend time trying to get other folk’s approval.
- Constantly seeking approval from others takes me down a path where I stop caring about myself. I stop caring about my own physical, mental and spiritual health because there is no time left for me.
- Constantly seeking approval from others is not a good investment of time. The payoff is notoriously poor. I’ve spent an entire lifetime working to get somebody else to approve of me. And I have zero to show for all that time.
- Constantly seeking approval from others misses the grand opportunities of life. I don’t dare take the time away from other people who aren’t going to give me their approval no matter what to take advantage of positive career moves, traveling through this wonderful world, even the book I’ve always wanted to read.
- Constantly seeking approval from others feeds on itself in unexpected, perverse ways of spending time. Addiction robs even more time as it sucks the life out of life itself.
These are all reasons why living a life of constantly seeking approval needs to stop. I’ve seen dogs who could catch their own tail, not often but I’ve seen it happen. I’ve never seen a dog who could hold on to it.