Lurking in the hidden corners of us is that never quite fulfilled need for approval. Admit it or not, it’s there. Maybe since Adam and Eve messed up in the garden we’ve been on a never ending quest to make sure we’re okay … okay with our friends, with our family, with our employers, with God, and even with ourselves. Not kept in check, it’s exhausting.

For whatever reason, some of us struggle with it more than others. It could be we weren’t affirmed as children, as adults life may have kicked us around, or we’ve simply lost ourselves over the years. All valid reasons, but what are we going to do?

We can stay stuck or make some changes. Staying stuck, no matter how uncomfortable it is, many times is easier than making a stab at change. What will the relatives say if you only have three different kinds of pies for Christmas dinner instead of the five you’ve always baked? Ask yourself this: why does it matter? Now if your sincere joy lies in baking, bake on, but if you’d rather spend Christmas Eve in your PJs playing Chutes and Ladders with your kids, pick up pies at the Kroger bakery. The thought of that may cause you to break out in a cold sweat, but that’s what happens when you break an addiction.

Who doesn’t enjoy applause and gushing compliments? Approval feels good for a moment, but it passes quickly. Then the stakes are higher to make sure your performance is even better next time. Ask any athlete or performer about the pressure to out do yourself. But then, again that’s why they’re paid the big bucks.

Why not for the next few weeks in the midst of the holiday clamor, pause to consider why you do what you do? Wouldn’t it be fun to enjoy Christmas this year?

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