Growing up is tough. I use to need, crave, and work super hard for approval from all those around me. The focus was never about me and my needs, but it was more always about getting that "stamp of approval", and at all costs. To worsen it, when you get those around you used to you being this "flexible" (to put it mildly), they soon learn to use their approval (or non-approval) to sway your actions. Altogether, I've learned that being so needy takes a heavy toll on any relationship. This week, I realized I was finally free of this need to be anointed the ever-important stamp of approval, of wanting to be on good terms with those around me at all costs. While, yes, I do, of course, want peaceful and civil relationships with those around me, I do not need any relationship to be in perfect balance for me to be fine. I now know that simply because someone chooses to withdraw their affections towards me that it does not mean I necessarily NEED to do anything. Well, oops, that is not entirely true. I do DO something. For example, if someone says something hurtful, I may emotionally retreat, I may need to re-define what my specific needs of this person are....but what I now realized is that I do not need to directly or engage with someone else's conflict. This may be 'small potatoes' for some of you, but to me this is incredibly liberating. I guess you can say I've officially 'flown the coop'.