approval

On my desk, sitting on my books, are many self-framed (the kind of crazy things you learn from do-it-yourself websites) quotes and poems. I have them there because they put a kind of smile on my face akin to what my favourite food does for me. Apart from that my I love words. I simply do. God made the whole world out of words. Everything He does is by His words so what’s there not to love about words.  Well… the positive ones; not ones like “shithole” (wink).

My favourite among this collection of framed quotes and poems is one by Marianne Williamson titled Our Greatest Fear. If you’ve ever watched the movie Akeelah and the Bee, you probably will remember this profound poem.

There is portion of it that reads “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Then there is a quick reply that sums up everything… Actually, who are you not be? You are a child of God.” Pause, let it sink in… YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD”.

When I was undertaking my undergraduate course and was in the final year, we were required to produce a self-authored thesis as partial fulfilment of the program. Boy, is there ever a tough time in the life of a Ghanaian university student?

Some people avoided the whole wahala and surrendered their work to wise money-making people, often students, who have become pro-researchers to undertake their final year dissertation for them. For those who felt it was improper and uncalled for, you’d have to struggle to put together the dissertation according to requirements subject to the approval of a supervisor.

Approval.

That’s all you needed to be included in the graduation list. Without it, your 4-year sweat was meaningless and for some students this became their lot. Good gracious, the look on students’ faces at the mention of approval brought frustration to life. It walked around in the classes in all kinds of shapes, colours and looks.

Approval.

The more I thought I about it, the more it meant something to me and yet a part of me said that it meant nothing. The latter overcame the former. Approval meant nothing. How do I go through life needing some person’s validation? Nothing defined me except that which I am.

This is not pride but a reminder of who you are and what you are made of. I’ve seen ladies go through life bent on doing any and everything to be accepted by boyfriends only to be dumped later. I have seen guys who go to ridiculous extents to measure up in the eyes of girlfriends in the end up making a mess of themselves and losing the girls forever. I mean, why not be yourself? That way, you stand out rather than fit in.

The days of feeling invaluable are over. Love yourself for even the Bible pushes us to love our neighbours as ourselves. That’s self-love in black and white. How about trying that for a change?

Love yourself; the perks, the flaws and all of that. I’m not saying don’t make time to improve yourself. Growth and development are important. However, while at it, celebrate who are and are turning out to be on the journey. Focus on your strengths, shine a light on them and let the whole world see that you are made of something.

Sometimes, just sometimes, we forget how incredibly talented and super we are.

We wait for others to say, “Hey, you look good”, “You are beautiful” so that it will be okay. Well, here’s the shocker. You can’t please anyone, not one soul. Not your family, not your partner, not your mentor… – none of them. The truth is they themselves are quite unsure of themselves.

Before you go moving heaven and earth to meet others’ expectations to gain their approval, remember that you have and are all you need. God has made you fearfully and wonderfully. You have innate abilities that no one else has. The world awaits your manifestation. It is long overdue. Arise and Shine.

And if anyone asks you, tell them you are signed, sealed and certified. Already approved.

Amakuor – Excellence Personified.

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