It took me many painful years to learn the lesson that less is indeed more.
I am not speaking in terms of interior decorating, accessories, or God knows my number of pairs of shoes. I am speaking of a much more painful pairing down.
I have finally learned that less of me is more. Much less self-assessment, less self-evaluation, less approval seeking, and less caring about what others may think of me or the choices that I make.
Less thinking about me, myself, and the separate I and more of focusing on and in my Source. Less trying to do something or express something that will win accolades or applause, and more of relishing expression for the simple sake of expression.
For so long I didn’t know to what degree I was doing things to get the approval I never thought I had. It was exhausting! The successes that I did get were dampened by the lack of enthusiasm I perceived from those I was most trying to please. There was a subtle yet dynamic sense of hurriedly moving on to the next thing in hopes it would garner more praise. My entertainment career was sullied by my own relentless need for perfection and the inability to withstand the super competitive field I was in. It wasn’t art for art’s sake. It was me trying to win the acceptance, approval, and accolades I so longer for and never felt I got.
I am embarrassed to say that I brought this same need for approval and a building up of me to my early years in ministry. I do not doubt that I had and have a sincere and growing longing to serve. Yet there was also the diminished little boy who was still looking for someone to say that I was doing well, that I was making a difference. That people liked my lectures, workshops, and classes. The number of people in the seats could make or break my attitude on any given day. A consternating look would throw me into self-examination for hours.
I suffered from the misperception that it was somehow about me.
In order to be rooted in authentic service and inspired expression there simply must be less of me. Less of the personality self and less approval seeking. In order to do what I am passionately called to do I must step back and let myself be guided by the One whose approval I have had all along. I stay centered in that calling and I must not be swayed by attendance, offerings, or accolades. Today they may love me, and tomorrow they may turn their backs. It does not affect the message I am called to share. My ministry isn’t about me. It is about God. It is about the people I may touch when I stay out of the way and leave my sense of self out of it. The less I focus on me the more effective I can be for others.
And the funny thing is, the less I need approval the more I seem to receive . Does it feel nice? Sure. And, I remain in my center and I keep doing what I am called to do regardless of response. I don’t read the reviews. I don’t need to. As long as I stay true to my calling and keep showing up the Ultimate approval comes from within. As long as there is less of me there is always more of God to come shining through.