When I was young, I was desperately in need of attention. I used to seek attention from everyone I meet, everywhere I go. I was so intensely yearning for acceptance. Yet, later I realised that I was so hungry for acceptance merely because I was rejected by many since my childhood. I desired to be at places that I thought I was accepted and loved for who I am. Once, while I was in bed due to an injury, a relative who thought I was fast asleep commented that my behavior was very stubborn as a result of growing up without a mother. We need to understand that just as water is to thirst so is love and acceptance to a rejected person.
Even though I was so hungry for love and acceptance, the only person who never let me down was my father. Even when I was at the lowest point in life my father never left me. As for the loneliness I was feeling, I tried to do everything possible to seek others’ attention. A friend of mine once labeled me as an attention freak, it was indeed a most suitable fit for me. Attention and appreciation are what I constantly seeked for, in order to fulfill the emptiness which was within me due to a series of rejections I had gone through earlier. I tried to manipulate the society by living a pretense life merely to receive the acceptance of others. I fought in the streets and bus halts to depict to my immediate surrounding that I was strong and macho, I thought that would make them like me. I also wanted to associate powerful people so that I will be respected by others.
As parents it is essential to realise that just as us our children also crave for love, acceptance and appreciation. It is a common desire that every human being possesses. We may live in two types of situations. The “feeling good” state and the “feeling bad” state. A plant requires water, sunlight, minerals, fertilizer, care and treatment to grow well, so do human beings need love, care, affection, appreciation and acceptance. We are made in such a way that our bodies would die if we do not breathe air, similarly our souls will be lifeless if they do not breathe love.
I have been at a number of rehabilitation centers and I have been able to understand that many individuals have been addicted to drugs as a result of the wrong associates they have associated with. When you dig deeper to evaluate why they attempt to sit with the wrong people, it was revealed that they were seeking for friends who would accept them for who they are, thus they feel good to hang out with such people. I look forward to write a book along the lines of “Broken Families & Broken Children”, as per my experience of being with a large crowd of people, many broken and damaged children hail from broken families rather than from bonded families.
The reason is that well knitted families are bonded with love hence, the kids do not have to seek for love. Whereas in broken families they are emotionally separated and not glued with love. The presence of love bonds a relationship and the absence of love separates a relationship. Love and acceptance are like oxygen. The more you are loved and accepted the more your soul is satisfied. The more you are rejected the more your soul feels depressed. You must realise that unless a child inhales and lives with this fundamental truth, there is great possibility that your children will be broken one day and they will attempt to run here and there looking for love, which is the ultimate medicine the emotionally damaged hearts require.
Many parents are very keen on paying attention to the physical deficiencies of their children such as their eyesight, hearing, asthma, height and weight. They pay less attention to focus on healing and repairing the wounds of their children. Out of my weakness I once shouted at my son Joshua when he was about six years of age, I witnessed how he got really scared. I felt so bad about myself as I knew that it would certainly damage him emotionally. I went into my room and cried until I was out of tears and asked forgiveness from God for my rash behavior. Asking for forgiveness is useless unless you make a strong decision to fight against your weaknesses, preventing it from living within you. I began loving my son more and more and appreciating him and giving him value on every occasion that I can get hold of.
I also began to ignore his weaknesses and I focused only on appreciating him for his goodness. I was able to treat his weaknesses with his good. I further started respecting his thoughts and likes above my egoistic thinking that he should think the way that I think. Instead of yelling and screaming at him when he makes a mistake, I initiated to discuss it with him in love. It was indeed a great victory for me to see him being extremely honest and open with me about himself. Just as you need a key to open a locked door, so do you need a tool to open a person’s heart.
You cannot fill a closed bottle by placing it underneath a tap even if the tap may have a very heavy flow of water. A transmitter is of no use if the receiver is stubborn and shut away. A receiver would never be humble and open if he finds that the transmitter is not on his page. Therefore, I urge you to take this content very seriously. This is not only for parents but also for children who have destroyed the feelings and emotions of their parents. Take a strong decision to heal the wounds of your parents, as weeping before their coffins without healing and repairing their wounds while they are alive is not going to do any good to either you nor your parents.
In life, sometimes we become patients and sometimes we become doctors. When we are emotionally wounded, we become patients and seek healing. Then there are the times we need to heal and repair the wounds that we have caused to others. Act soon, as life is short and we have no guarantee of tomorrow. Do not postpone the actions of love because of your pride. Some people are reluctant to ask for forgiveness due to their pride. I have hurt my father many a times during my younger days hence now I am determined to make him happy at every opportunity that I get. The first thing any doctor would do before putting medicine to a wound is to clean the wound. Therefore, the first thing you must do is to be honest and seek forgiveness from the person that you have done anything wrong towards.
The moment you ask for forgiveness, that person will feel good as you have placed him at a higher position than you as the one pardoning is higher than the one who seeks pardon. As I mentioned earlier, everybody loves to be accepted. When you say sorry, the other party feels good about themselves and would certainly say “Ah, that’s okay, just forget it”’
Just as our souls love to breathe love, acceptance and appreciation we need to have a clear understanding that others also seek to breathe and feel loved as they are also human. Unless you treat others the way you wish to be treated, your life is going to be very miserable and it is going to weigh a lot upon your shoulder.
On the flip side it is a great achievement to live a life without seeking attention and acceptance. With my age, I am now attaining this state which is certainly a very strong state of mind a person can possess. When you are full of self-satisfaction, there will be no emptiness within you. You seek acceptance only when you are empty. We all must thrive to live selfless lives, as it is less burdensome and is less heavy. During the first phase of my marriage, it was all about me and how I expected to be loved. After many years of experiencing and learning about married life, it has now reached the state of our marriage being all about my wife and how she needs to be loved.
The first phase was so heavy as it was all about receiving, and the current phase is so peaceful as it is all about giving unconditionally. Emptiness will constantly seek to be refilled, but when you are filled to the brim, you do not have to seek to be filled. Therefore, plan and drive towards self-satisfaction. Though it is human nature to expect from others in order to feel good, it always ends up in misery, as there are very few people whom we can trust and rely on in this world. It might be due to two reasons, number one – they simply do not care about you and number two – even though they care about you, they care about their loved ones more than you. So, they are compelled to prioritize them over you.
This is the reality which we all need to fathom. If we do not agree with this, we will always have a journey of seeking acceptance and getting disappointed. Where there is more expectation, there is more disappointment. Where there is less expectation, there is less disappointment. For comments: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / voice – 0774 88 56 56