Acceptance or Connection?

What’s the difference between a desire for approval (a strategy for gaining acceptance) and a desire for connection? I’ve been sitting with this question during the past week.
Here are some of the what I’ve noticed, in the form of “Questions to Self.”

Where’s my focus? A dead give away. If it’s on others, I’m usually thinking about what they expect of me. Is it on my own sense peace and well-being? It’s connection.

Do I want something? Approval. Connection just is. It’s there all along. I just need to recognize it. I can’t get it from them.

Who’s in charge? If I’m trying to gain their acceptance, then I have nothing to say about it. Powerless. All I can do is to guess how to get it. Connection puts me in charge of my own experience. If I’m not feeling connected, it’s my job to find out what’s in the way. Powerful.

Whose business am I in? Wanting their approval, I’m in their business, reading what they think of me. Not possible to know. Again, my business to connect with myself.

What’s my motive? If I’m imagining myself from their eyes, getting their admiration, I’m going for acceptance. If I’m just in the moment, I’m seeing the world through my eyes. Transparent. Authentic. Open to my experience. Joy in what just is.

I’d love for you to share your experience. Let me know what I’m missing and tell me what breaks you through to your own authentic self.  A sharing of our common experience brings us all closer to our own freedom.

3 Responses to “Acceptance or Connection?”

  1. Deborah Penner

    🙂 I have printed these questions to self … very grounding … thank you !!

  2. Helen Samson Mullen

    Gorgeous Susan, as has the experience of your Busting your Approval Junkie Class been. Thanks for bringing such clarity and such wonderful insight to this topic of approval vs connection. Kindest, Helen


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