Our Need for Approval: The Human Kind

I’ve always really wondered about the human fascination with approval and praise showered on one by another.  I’m not really here to debate whether it exists.  I’m here saying it existed within my own journey, and it was a rather strong feeling.  Additionally, it was effortless.  I rarely even could detect when it was coming on.  It was just there, and I would ponder the meaning, as I’m doing now.

Throughout extensive studies and research over 30+ years (not formal), I came away with the assumption that it would be a really large spiritual accomplishment if I could achieve a state where others opinions or recognition didn’t really matter.  I still feel strongly that the closer to this state we get, the more at peace we as unique individuals can be.

I have gone through a few initiations that allowed me to feel the freedom of not really caring or even thinking what another would think or say about what I was doing.  It was as freeing a feeling as I’ve ever experienced.

In the study of Shamanism nothing is really ever totally resolved.  Layers of an issue are resolved, only to find that there is another of an endless number of layers ahead.  So, if I had experienced the growth I described above, why was I still effortlessly slipping into that state of chasing approval months later?  This question has been with me for quite some time.

I will offer a possible alternative reason for this constant pursuit of others approval.  Some of it lies within one of the basic tenets of the study of Shamanism.  We are all a small part of the bigger pie.  Humans, animals, plants spirits are all one and part of one.  As we change who we are, we move away from one set of beings approval or lack of approval is no longer necessary or wanted, but moving to a different space does not eliminate the beings.  We are just surrounded by a different set of beings.  This doesn’t eliminate the need for approval, you’ve just graduated, so to speak, to a different level or layer of needs.  Another way to look at it is that our souls, animal, human, plant, etc. are all part of an intricate whole, so from where I am observing it would only follow that we would need the other parts to become whole ourselves.

How true or real this is would be really up to each individual to determine for themselves and their unique individual situations.  The reason I thought it appropriate to document is that I didn’t find any flaws in the logic.  Typically when that happens, there is a real possibility that I’ve seen a version of the truth.

Really interesting to think about.

Mark Glynn, CSP (04/22/2017)

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