Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sedona Method Day #20

Sedona Method says wanting approval is at the core of much unhappiness. Today, my assignment is to remember times in the past when I wanted approval and then note how I feel about them now.

For me approval is a warm relaxed feeling – a sense that I have a right to be alive and on this planet, with the people and responsibilities I currently enjoy. I have had a lifelong struggle with the fickleness of this feeling.

For starts there was my father. He made very clear that I was a failure on two counts. 1) I was not a boy and 2) I did not idolize him. (Why would I since he’d already made clear that I wasn’t what he wanted? And if we idolize anybody, it’s somebody who encourages us.) As a child, I wanted his approval so he’d stop hurting me.

As an adult, I can see that my real want was survival. If it was possible to kill by spanking and insults, I’d be dead. The assignment is to let these feelings go. It’s easy to let go of wanting approval from a crazy man. But I’m having trouble letting go of wanting survival. I know I don’t have a choice. I never had a choice. Not when I was under my father’s roof (I got born into that situation), and not when I got hit by a car (totally random). So wanting survival is meaningless. But I’m having trouble releasing on it.

The next phase is to look for situation where I want approval now. There’s my writing. I always want editors and publishers and readers to love my writing. That means they’ll pay me for it. Which is another survival issue.

And there’s this Sedona Method experiment I’m doing. I feel a sense of approval (that warm relaxed feeling) when I succeed in letting go of something that was bothering me.

I can see that approval from anybody for anything is totally out of my control. The actual approval is within myself. If some stranger were to say, “I approve of you,” that would be meaningless. It is only my interpretation that gives approval meaning.

Therefore I’m the one giving myself approval at any time – including when I release stress.

The checklist so far: Wanting control is out because control impossible. I don’t run the world. And wanting approval makes no sense, since I’m the only one whose approval matters. Knowing these facts will help when my mind goes into old painful patterns.

Right now my back is hurting because I overdid it yesterday. For that, the only cure I can come up with is to go lie down. Pre-accident, I might have taken an aspirin and made myself go out and do things. I don’t have to do that today.

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