Good day dear reader,
A week ago I made a post called “To the brother that craves” ( in case you missed it, you can find it here) I want to revisit the thought on craving and explore it a wee bit further. So kindly spare me a few minutes of your time as I try to unpack this a little bit more.
I have a thought dear reader and it is this: “Craving the acceptance of others is a symptom of a lack of self acceptance”
Let’s face it, every single one of us wants to be accepted. We want to be embraced and celebrated and when we do not find such acceptance within ourselves, we feverishly look for it everywhere else. The thing though about searching for acceptance on the outside is that you end up having to fulfill certain “conditions” for it to be “given” For example:
“You are a woman only when you have________________________”
“You are a man only if you can do ____________________________”
“You are a real woman only if you are __________________________”
“You are a real man only if you have ___________________________”
We are presented daily with such conditions. Our societies are immersed in them. Those that fulfill them are praised and those that don’t are often mocked and encouraged to “step up”.
I don’t know about you dear reader but I think that seeking to be accepted by others by fulfilling these conditions, conditions which are subjective and always changing, is sheer madness. But it is a madness we readily embrace. We crave to be accepted, it drives us. We worry about how others perceive us and we do everything we can to control it. They must accept us, our joy, our peace, our very lives depend on it (this is a good foundation for abusive relationships by the way). Our days are thus spent envying others (who seem to be getting the acceptance we crave), despising ourselves (when we don’t feel we are measuring up), looking down on others (when we feel they are not measuring up), worrying about what others are thinking about us, being crushed when it is a negative assessment and feeling high when it is a positive one and so much more
This is hell
I don’t believe life has to be this way. No. I believe that there is an end to this craving and it comes by accepting ourselves utterly. I believe that the only acceptance that truly matters is the one we give or withhold from ourselves. And why shouldn’t you accept yourself? You are more than your looks, possessions, status, influence. You are a man not because you have money or possessions. You are a woman not because you are married, look a certain way or have kids. You are a man, you are a woman simply because you are. The bible defines man and woman not on the basis of looks or possessions but on them being the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).
Dear reader your joy and peace does not lie outside of you. It has always been within. You can spend the rest of your life craving the acceptance of others and doing ever escalating things to get it or you can choose to continually say “Good, awesome, magnificent” to yourself and find that peace, stability has never been missing.
What will it be?