“You never did anything for me,” he snarled. Those words were probably the most hurtful six words I had ever heard in my life. It was like a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach, or a stab in the back. As far as I was concerned, EVERYTHING I had ever done, had been for him. That was my first mistake…there would be more mistakes on my part to follow.
I needed his approval. I craved his love. I waited for his acknowledgment. I wanted his applause. I sought his favor, I looked for his respect, and I begged for his acceptance.
Looking back, I must have been a pathetic creature. Anyone who goes to such extremes to gain the favor of another, whatever the situation, is a person spiraling into disappointment and destruction. I should have seen the signs of my behavior as weak. I should have recognized my actions as a feeble attempt to earn his love. I should have remembered that “love is not something that we find or have, but something that we do.” (from a Clint Black song)
Hungry for acceptance as you are walking on eggshells is not a good combination. It set me up for failure. Much of what I did for him (or his girls), I sincerely wanted to do, but the underlying factor was I was trying to earn a merit badge, a gold star, or an A+ for effort. I had hoped to gain favor in his baby blue eyes. Instead of earning me the love and respect I longed for, all I earned was the glare of a man, who to this day, despises my existence for reasons unknown to me.
I have since learned I need to do things that are right or good for me. Not in a selfish way, but in a way that is true to who I am and what I stand for. I cannot live my life trying to impress or win the favor of another. True love doesn’t ask for a pat on the back or a standing ovation. Instead, it offers a hug at the end of a long day. It’s a smile from across a crowded room, and it’s a kiss on the cheek just because…
Today I am thankful that I am still learning…even if it means learning from past mistakes.