Crying Out for Acceptance, Approval & Appreciation

In this world, we find ourselves striving for material things, things that can be bought, things that can be studied or achieved. We want the nice house, the pretty clothes, the flash car, the good grades, the top job to fill our bank accounts with money, and the list goes on.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting these things, as most of them are basic needs and wanting our things to be nice or attractive to look at isn’t a crime. However, it becomes a problem when this becomes our main want in life and our desire for these things overtakes our need for happiness, love, inner peace or our own well-being.

We have a tendency to neglect our mental and emotional health, in favour of meeting the standards society has set for us, striving to make the most money we can, or get the best grades we can, or have as many things as we can. I’m guilty of this myself and I’ve been paying the price for it over the years.

I put myself under pressure and unnecessary stress to achieve the best grades possible at GCSE and A-level. I worked myself ragged as I did all I could to get into my dream university. I found myself emotionally drained and mentally tired, giving my all on a university course I hated, in an institution where I never felt comfortable.

Although my grades at GCSE and A-level were good, I got into my dream university and I persevered for two years at that university, it wasn’t worth the emotional and mental turmoil I put myself through. By putting myself on a pedestal and piling on the pressure, I ended up losing myself and a sense of happiness in the process.

My energy dropped, my mood could quickly worsen and I let little things upset me. I found myself easily getting into depressive states, I cried bucket loads of tears and I was self-harming over the years. I was emotionally dying, walking around in a daze and struggling to fall asleep.

Yet through it all, my desire to make others proud wouldn’t allow me to give up. I wanted to make my parents proud, I wanted to make my family proud, I wanted to make my Textiles teacher proud, I wanted to make my tutors proud etc, etc. However, I can’t say that I was making myself proud – all I saw was disappointment after disappointment.

My GCSE grades weren’t good enough for me. I wanted to get all As at A-level, just like my teachers had predicted, not just one A*. I was regressing rather than progressing at university, which depressed me more and more, because I was trying my absolute hardest and spending practically every waking moment on my assignments.

None of this was helping me and my desire to be the best (or perhaps the world’s idea of the best) was covering up the issues within myself. In trying to be the best, I was crying out for acceptance, approval and appreciation.

I wanted my parents to say how proud they were of me and tell me they loved me. I wanted to make something of myself so that people would no longer look down on me or look through me. I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t be second best anymore.

Looking back on it all, I can see that all I want and all I’ve ever wanted is love, affection, support, care and appreciation from the people around me. I don’t want to feel lonely (despite not being alone) and I don’t want to feel like I’m second best all the time. Yet what I really need is to learn to truly love myself.

Missing You

Sometimes I miss you.  In fact, I miss the two of you.  I miss the friendships we once had and I miss how close we used to be.

It can be difficult at times, because you two were the friends that were closest to me and I could talk to you about anything.  You supported me during difficult times, made me laugh continuously and were there to talk when I needed it.

One of you could always put a smile on my face and knew just what to say to me at the right times.  The other would always put me in my place and think about my actions, which helped me to become a more considerate person.  And I could never stay angry at either of you.

Although you are still in my life, our relationships are not the same and that can be difficult at times, because I don’t know who else to turn to.  The other people in my life don’t always understand where I’m coming from or they don’t know as much as the two of you, which can make explanations long and difficult.

I let both of you in when I struggle to let others in, and I have not been able to let anyone in that way since.  That can make it difficult when I need to turn to a friend who knows and understands me deeply, because the two of you aren’t there.

I just miss you and sometimes I wish things could go back to the way they were, but I understand that it’s not meant to be.

I Can’t Make It On My Own

My God is awesome, loving, amazing, thoughtful, forgiving and so many other wonderful things.  He is the only constant in my life and no words that I use will ever do Him justice.  He is simply indescribable and I don’t know what I would do without him.

Tye Tribbett’s song, What Can I Do, is able to express my feelings perfectly.  Last night, I knew that I wanted to talk to my God, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to say and I knew that any words I said would not be enough, so I just put on this song (and For Every Mountain) and sung out to Him instead.

I was able to express all that I wanted to say and I know that my Lord understood my heart.  It was special as I asked Him: “Tell me what can I do / Cause I can’t live without you / I can’t live without you”.  I physically cannot live without my God and I know that without Him, I would not be here.

So to ensure that my life is going in the right direction, I simply give my all to Him.  Tye sings: “So here’s my heart / Here’s my mind / I give you my soul / Need you to take control / Cause I’ve tried it / Tried it on my own / but what I found is / I can’t make it / on my own”.

I have tried to make it on my own so many times before and I’ve failed, because I don’t have the capability – the devil is just too strong to fight alone.  This has also required me to let go of some the control that I’ve desperately wanted over my life and let God do His thing, because He knows what is best for me and that has saved me.

However, it is the later lines of the song that really speak to me and tug at my heartstrings.  As I listened and sang along to them yesterday, I found myself being brought to tears and I’m being brought to tears again as I listen to them right now.

The song says: “I can’t walk without you / I can’t talk without you / I can’t sing without you / I’m nothing without you / I can’t live without you / I can’t breathe without you / I can’t be without you / There’s no me without you”

I know that there is nothing I can do without my God and regretfully, there are times when I’ve forgotten that.  Without my God I would not exist, I would not wake up every morning and I would not be the person I am today.  I would be lost, living a life in the pits of despair and struggling to move forward.

I need my Lord every single day and I cannot bear to live my life without Him by my side, because there is no hope in a world without Him.  He is my strength and my deliverer, which is just part of the reason why I love Him so much.  I can’t make it on my own.