Approval

“See me, feel me, touch me, heal me” – Tommy – The Who

An old friend posted a review for my books and reading it made me want to put my feet up, stick a ten-dollar cigar in my face and sip an expensive whiskey. I experienced the Pavlova effect; like an appreciated puppy I had to have a piss.

From that first paper we handed in to a teacher four times our size hoping for approval, we got tricked into believing we needed approval and we carry that stigma into adulthood. Wanting to fit in has destroyed untold numbers of artists in the crib. The man who needs approval the least is King.

We all want approval of some sort or another and that separates the normal from the serial killers and psychopaths and organizes what we call society. It’s OK to want approval; the trick is not to need it; which is cancer, the path to the dark side. Need for approval comes from a deeply rooted belief of not being worthy. Star gazers and interpreters tell me that Leo people, one in every twelve people including me, need for approval can become too important and morph into a potential weakness. That tidbit of knowledge reinforced my bent toward not giving a flying fuck what anybody thinks; at least that what I tell myself.

The self-aware person is in touch with their weakness. I hate, I’m using the word hate here, anything that makes me feel weak. For reasons unknown to me I seek approval and when denied it I kill off the thing or person who just a minute earlier I was seeking approval from. I know, twisted but there it is. The conundrum occurs when I care too much about the thing or person that’s denied me approval to kill them off. Maybe my original answer was correct; just be careless and care less. Hell if I know.

Abraham Mazlow; founder of humanistic and motivational psychology put self-actualization; realizing personal potential and self-fulfillment; seeking personal growth and peak experiences at the top of our hierarchy of needs. Sigmund Freud; father of psychoanalysis said it is hardwired from our crotch to our brain. Emmanuel Kant takes us on a sidetrack; higher to be sure but in a different direction saying it’s not enough to do the right thing you have to do right for the right reasons.

We can get dizzy navigating this maze of why we seek approval. We could be here all night just trying to know why and by then I’ve forgotten to just feel good which in the end is good enough. I tend toward siding with the existentialists; Sartre and Dostoyevsky. I do or don’t do a thing simply because I exist. The meaning of life may well be just asking the question; what is the meaning of life. Again, hell if I know.

I’m often told I have a big ego; either by those who share that trait with me or more usually by those who seem to lack one or are convinced its evil and spend their time suffocating it in its sleep. Ego; the self-aware aspect of the psyche is essential. Without a healthy ego we destroy self-awareness; ergo no self-motivation and no self actualization; the needs Mazlow has ensconced at the top of his Pyramid.

If you have an answer the suggestion box is wide open. Meanwhile, I’ll casually revert to my default position and just enjoy the moment. Anybody got a match?

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

3 Responses to Approval

  1. James Mcfarland says:

    Truism in its greatest form, a straightforward and realistically brutal piece, suburb ending, a 9.6 out of 10.0 rating. Great job!

  2. Reblogged this on Nick Masesso, Jr..

  3. pinkbubblespinkbubbles says:

    ” just be careless and care less.” That’s perfection, in 6 words.

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