“Assent to honor and acclaim and you will lose your freedom.”
– Anthony de Mello
Recently, I fell into the trap of looking to others for my worth. I put upon the people around me an expectation for my inner fulfillment without even realizing I was doing it. Slowly, the self-doubt started to creep into my consciousness, “Why isn’t anyone asking me about my life?” and it quickly deteriorated into “What I am doing with my life is so foolish. It’s obvious now that I see no one cares about it.” Within just a few days, I went from complete and utter joy about the trajectory of my journey, to the prison of self-doubt that plagued so many of the days of my past.
If I am honest about what occurred here, I must point to my own inner need for approval. In my mind, I understand and know that what others think of me and what I am doing with my life is not what is important. In my mind, I understand and know that as I follow the guidance of God, I may come across speed bumps, questioning glances, and complete disregard for my interests from the people with whom I come in contact. In my mind, I understand and know these things; but, in my heart, I long for something else. In my heart, I long for questions, interest, excitement, and approval. In my heart, I long for joy in the hearts of others simply because I have found meaning in my life. In my heart, I long for kudos for all the hard work I have done and am still doing to have overcome – to have arrived at this place.
Needless to say, until my heart catches up with my mind, I am going to be disappointed. I will continue to find a place of sadness each time I insist on being recognized instead of focusing my attention on caring about the lives of others. And, as I wait for the respect, the trophy, the crown of splendor, I will continue to lose the freedom that has come from diving deep down inside of myself and finding the place of peace and joy that is revealed only through my relationship with God.
I pray today, God, that Your Love and Acceptance will be all that I need to warm my heart, my mind, and my soul.
Thanks, for being willing to share this. I do the same thing.
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I shared reading a great book by Anthony di Mello with my son. So great to see one of his quotes pop up and how you responded to it. Thank you.
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