No Apologies Necessary

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another…” – Romans 13:8

In the last couple of days I’ve come to this really freeing realization that I don’t owe anybody anything, and nobody owes anything to me. I’m not talking about money here (although that’s always nice, too) – but I’m talking about… well… I don’t owe anybody any explanations for why I don’t want to do this, or why I want to do that; I don’t owe anybody my silence when I disagree; I don’t owe anyone an apology if he chooses to get offended by something I say or do. And no one owes me an apology, either, if *I* choose to be offended or affronted or aghast or indignant by something someone else says or does. And isn’t that just GREAT?!!!

I am under no obligation to please others. 

“There is a difference between trying to please and giving pleasure. Give pleasure. Lose no chance of giving pleasure; for that is the ceaseless and anonymous triumph of a truly loving spirit. ‘I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.'”
Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

real friends 4

Waiting for Approval

I’m on the patch right now. Where it releases small dosages of approval until I no longer need it, and then I’m gonna rip it off
. – Ellen DeGeneres

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – II Timothy 2: 15

In the textbook for Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy points out that “Jesus’  system of healing received no aid nor approval from other sanitary or religious systems, from doctrines  of physics or of divinity…”  Did this lack of approval stop Jesus from fulfilling his mission, from healing, and accomplishing what he was sent here to accomplish? Did he wait around for permission to heal and do his life’s work? Nope.  He had the approval of God, Love, and that’s the only approval that concerned him.

Okay, listen, if you want to paint your neighbor’s house or rearrange his furniture or drive his car to work – it might be a good thing to wait for his approval before doing these things.  His house, furniture, and car do not belong to you, and it is not your business to take it upon yourself to paint, rearrange, or drive what doesn’t belong to you, without permission.

However, if you are waiting for someone else’s approval to be who YOU are and to live YOUR life – well, that’s just silly. We who live in the U.S. of A. live in a time of wonderful freedom and incredible invention, and it behooves us to take advantage of this. If you want to move or travel – you don’t need to wait for the government’s approval. Just do it. If you want to leave your job, or switch schools , or switch majors – that is your choice, not anyone else’s.  You need no one else’s approval to attend the church of your choice, or to choose not to attend a church at all.  If consenting adults of whatever gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion choose to build a life together – they don’t need anyone else’s permission or approval. And we live at a time when we no longer have to wait for someone else to decide if our writing is book-worthy or our voice is worth recording – the technology to put our words and voices out there is available to anyone with access to a computer – and no one else’s approval is necessary.

You need not wait for approval, my friend

You need not wait to practice zen

You need not wait to sing and soar

You need not wait –  not one second more!

You need no one’s permission to be who you are,

to express and reflect and travel far.

If you want to write and publish a book

or cook up the recipes of a cordon bleu cook

If you want to dance or hop or run

don’t wait for permission – just get ‘er done.

You don’t need permission to love one another –

to be a partner, or friend, or sister or brother.

No, you need no approval to your life live.

You were MADE to express your you-ness,

and your talents to give.

(All photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)