March 2, 2017


“I need approval, but now that I am no longer a child I don’t need to get it from any one person.”

Hugh Prather in Notes to Myself


“Nancy! I can’t imagine why you would do that. It is so unlike you……” Thus says my dear friend for whom I thought I never did wrong. Ouch! I didn’t like hearing her words. I want unconditional approval. Even when I screw up.

So very like a child. Children don’t always understand that mom or dad can have a bad day and that might very well spill over into the child’s world. When we are little and those around us are so very big, it is terrifying to see disapproval on the face of someone who is perceived to have so much power. What happens in a child’s small world when the adults are cross, disappointed, tired? It crumbles around the edges at the very least. More likely the whole world comes tumbling down.

You and I are no longer children and it is time we accept that we are not perfect. Those who know us best and most care for us see it when we make a mistake, or are unkind, or blow it big time. As children we desperately wanted one if not both of our parents to unconditionally love and accept us. As adults, we can and must, spread that desire around and be mindful of all the many places we get approval and love or respect.

“I want to be loved and adored,” I have said again and again throughout my lifetime. What I have learned is that there is a lot of love in the world and it does not have to come from only one place, or even two. We can stretch our horizons and receive love and admiration from many places. A friendly word and smile from a stranger when I am out walking Aimee, the cutest puppy on the planet, can go a long way toward making my day feel easier and lighter. A kind word in an email from a friend,  hug upon meeting someone by surprise when out shopping, a touch on the arm or a sweet kiss on the check from our beloved…..on and on… very many ways to let love add up.

At the end of the day, literally, it is the love and respect that we give ourselves that really counts. Look back over your day and count the many gifts you have given, the many kindnesses you have shared, the many unexpected connections you have made. Know that every one of those gifts, kindnesses, connections means love. Love is about giving and receiving approval.

Approval wears a warm cozy blue gown and has a gentle smile that reaches her friendly gray eyes. Her cheeks are rosy and she is comfortably plumb. She never scolds, her voice is inviting, her words are kind. She is shy sometimes and doesn’t allow herself to be seen as often as we might wish. But when she is visible she blooms like a bright red rose in the peak of summertime.

Offer yourself Approval. You deserve it. Always.


  • I am grateful for all the many things I have accomplished these last several days
  • I am grateful for sunshine and clear sidewalks and roads
  • I am grateful for the lovely corn bread with applesauce and blueberries I baked for my dinner
  • I am grateful for the excellent grooming job Joan did for Aimee and that the skunk is totally absolutely and entirely gone from my home, my dog, and my car
  • Hugs and love and over flowing in Approval, Nancy

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