Today I heard from a former elementary school teacher via email. She wrote that as long as my classmates and I are happy with out lives that was what is important. One of the reasons for this comment is that I had several classmates that were expected to accomplish “great things”. I’m not sure what that meant but somehow I doubt we reached our anticipated heights.
This is an issue I’ve been grappling with a lot lately. Part of the problem is that I have often been outwardly focused, seeking external validation for my accomplishments. I was the excellent student who got good grades as much because I sought the approval of my father and teachers as because of an internal drive. I got good grades to please the adults in my life as much as because of my competitive nature.
This comment by my former teacher made me realize that I’ve spent a lot of time over the last five years or so retraining myself not to need the external validation. My life is such that it would not be forthcoming anyway so seeking it only creates frustration and disappointment. It is also miraculously freeing. I find that the less I need external validation, the less I feel any need to live up to someone else’s expectations of me.
I can see this will be a long term journey for me. I’ve been doing an inner labyrinth journey with two friends using the Dark Goddess Tarot as a guide. One of the primary messages I keep getting is that I need to follow my heart. I need to find a path that is meaningful to me and stick with it whether it meets with anyone else’s approval or not. That can be very difficult. I think we are all so conditioned to seek the approval of others that it can be a challenge to untether ourselves from that need for approval and validation. I’m taking it one step at a time and trusting that I’ll eventually reach the goal I’m mean to achieve in this life.
So the bottom line – am I happy with my life? Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. I’m working on it.