Two nights ago, chilling on the couch, I was watching the recorded Oprah Show featuring Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. She has had many rough spots in her life. There were issues with her mother, cruel name calling and badgering by the press when she was younger, and some bad decision making in the recent past. So, in addition to questions and answers with Oprah, some segments of a Dr. Phil session were shown. As I watched, I suddenly found the moment of clarity many people experience. Some call it a lightbulb or aha moment. Dr. Phil told Sarah that she was addicted to approval. There may as well have been a plane tugging a banner with that phrase “Addicted to Approval” waving across the sky right in front of me.
Take my last blog entry “No Vacation From Racism” for example. When I saw that it had indeed uploaded to post, I was ready to delete it. Last week the application force- closed somewhere in my editing process. So I really didn’t think it would be there. Uh oh, now what would happen if the people I was referring to in the post read it? So much for my “I don’t give a s” retort I wrote about.
But then I remembered the whole approval seeking behavior that is me. I was worried they would be mad at me. That they wouldn’t like me. Really? Umm, yeah, when I gave it another thought, I realized they were free from that exact same worry themselves. They don’t care how their racist views, comments and slurs affect me. And clearly, they know how both my husband and I feel about it.
They clearly could care less about whether we approve or not. So why should I waste my time worrying what they will think if they read my truth? Because of my epiphany and my trying to break the approval cycle, the post will stand.
I hope knowing that I have been addicted to approval will help me out in the days to come. Just recognizing what it is feels quite liberating. It makes so much sense in the “who” I have been all my life. Therefore, I must give a nod to Oprah, Dr. Phil and the original “Fergie”.