God Spare Me From The Desire To Be Liked

I need his love…..wait. Is that true?

One of my absolute favorite agonizing beliefs to do The Work on have been stressful beliefs about being liked.

Especially when someone actually DOESN’T like you.

Ooooh, isn’t that just the juiciest thing?

Yowser, it can hurt if you believe someone should like you, care about you, appreciate you, love you….

….and this person appears to dislike you, disown you, cut you off, and hate you.

Ha ha.

A little argument with reality going on here.

But let’s look.

I’ve shared it before (and I’ll probably share it again).

I had a friend.

Notice the key word “had”.

She learned something about me one day, a partial piece of information that was actually said in jest as a joke in a written article, and she believed it was true.

It’s one of my favorite situations and relationships for The Work because I felt so innocent. I felt like I really didn’t do anything wrong, and it was such a big fat misunderstanding.

But she stewed, analyzed, struggled within, and then reported me to the state as a counselor who has sessions with people naked.

Yep, it was that insane.

(I have to chuckle because I am so modest and shy, through my historical conditioning, that I wouldn’t be caught dead in front of anyone outside of a locker room or bedroom).

The fascinating thing is this friend adored me, and I adored her as well. I found our conversations joyful, fascinating, and soooooo in depth.

We were very close and our intellects were thrilled to trade ideas back and forth.

Of course, since I was someone who expected to be liked, who planned and tried hard and worked to be appreciated…..

…..I had no idea of her thought process and didn’t realize for months and months that she was so concerned.

Except I got the hint when she never returned my calls, didn’t respond to emails.

I was thinking….”did I do something wrong, did I say something rude….what??”

This is a really fascinating thing the mind does, that thinks “I” am the important thing here.

It’s all about me.

I must have done something wrong. She should keep liking me.

I could have prevented this dangerous event (betrayal, withdrawal, cut off, anger) from happening.

I had to do The Work a lot on that friendship ending, against my will (ha ha) and because of a ridiculous assumption.

But who would I really, really be without the belief that she should like me, and hang out with me, and see me as brilliant and “right” instead of wrong?

And what is this idea all about anyway…..where it feels safer and more comfortable if people appreciate me, rather than find me threatening?

What is going on there?

There’s this kind of core, deep, yet unnecessary sense physiologically that I’ll die, or be killed, if she doesn’t care about me.

I’m in danger. I’m unimportant. I’m worthy of being betrayed, or dissed, or pushed away. That’s what this means.

Boy, I love the way this assumption and attempt to gain control of the situation grabs for responsibility.

If it’s my fault, I can do something about it.

Trouble is….it’s not really my fault.

There’s a whole host of things happening when someone decides someone else is a piece of dung.

Everyone has their glasses on from their past conditioning, and what they believe, and what they think will be safe, and what they feel they need.

I had to ask myself, many times in that painful work…..

…..who would I be without the belief that I need to be liked and accepted?

By her? By anyone?

“If I had only one prayer it would be this: God spare me from the desire for love, approval, and appreciation. Amen.” ~ Byron Katie

Without the belief that I need to be liked, by anyone, I notice where I’m sitting.
I notice this present, gorgeous moment. A white leather couch. A lamp with newly changed lightbulbs (miraculous, the bulbs), a glass of water, a pink hoody lying near me, a bare arm, snippets in the mind of a wonderful conversation earlier today with my dear friend and teacher Ross, the still air in the room, the dark green trees through the windows.
Without the belief that anyone, ever, needs to like ME (me-me-me-me-me-all-about-me) I’m so free, I almost burst out laughing in this moment.
What are you doing or seeing or feeling in your present moment, even though someone in the world doesn’t appreciate, or like you?
Is it incredible?
If it’s not “incredible” can you just take in what is in your environment, and look around, without feeling the belief that anyone needs to appreciate you personally?
If you stare at the place you’re in…..is it not bizarre, and exciting, and rather fascinating?
Turning the thought around: I must have done something right. She should NOT keep liking me. I should keep liking myself. I should keep liking HER.
How could this be as true, or truer?
I should keep liking myself, I should keep liking her.
Wow, instead of automatically thinking I must have done something wrong, instead of thinking I screwed up, instead of thinking I’m missing something, instead of thinking she’s awful, instead of thinking she’s a mean messed up incorrect childish person….
….I can find these things are all as true or truer.
I can simply wait.
Be here now for this moment.
“Where do you find the wisdom inside of you, when you’re free, or when you’re worried? Inquiry bring us to that birthright. A free mind. This can feel like going to the dentist at first, but when you’re in peace that’s all you can see–peace. If I’m rattled about something, on the other side of that the most amazing clarity comes….I don’t call this The Work for nothing.” ~ Byron Katie
Do your inquiry. Give yourself this gift.
Who would you be without your belief that anyone should like you?
Much Love, Grace


6 Replies to “God Spare Me From The Desire To Be Liked”

  1. Yes, I get it Kelly. And, it sounds like there could be some relief for you in leaving, right? I mean…there’s that piece (no blame here, only looking) at this parent speaking the truth. You couldn’t guarantee the kids wouldn’t be violent with other kids, right? Perhaps this is what is required (teachers coming and going) before something bigger happens to help those kids and the whole situation. It doesn’t mean you weren’t enough or don’t have what it takes. It doesn’t mean that other parent was wrong. The strangest things happen with communication. All I know is, the only person I have control over is myself. And even that turns out not to be true :) See what your thoughts are. Take the most troubling one through inquiry all the way. You don’t have to question everything, only one. Much love, Grace P.S. You are doing such amazing work.

  2. Thanks Grace. I ended up being released from the long-term assignment. I’m actually really grateful because I feel I’ve gotten my sanity back. The way of it seemed to be that the assignment was not for me to have anymore.

    I will do The Work on it still and it now appears that I need to do The Work on the situation of me being released. A parent came up to my face and said to me: “If you can’t tell me that my daughter won’t be hurt by those 2 other students then I’m taking her out of school today.” I told her she needed to speak to the principal and she said no and that she wanted to hear my answer to her statement.

    I said that I do my very best to watch out for all of the children who are being affected by the 2 other kids. I can’t guarantee anything to anyone though.

    So what did this parent do? She went to the principal and said that I said I couldn’t keep her daughter safe.

    So because this woman twisted my words and heard what she wanted to hear I got released. The principal didn’t want to release me, but she had to based on this mother’s perception of me. You know it’s like what they say…”The customer (or parents) are always right.” So I’m thinking I need to now do The Work on parents and “The woman twisted my words and got me released.” Ha, it actually made me happy after all as I knew I was tired of dealing with the 2 violent kids.

    I guess what’s really going on for me is that most people don’t appear to have tools to communicate effectively or see what’s really going on and so their unawareness effects my life…good one to question too I suppose.

  3. You are so very welcome Sue, thanks so much for writing. Beautiful what you say that you can have faith, allow what is, do The Work for you. It’s all for you. Sharing will also come at the perfect time–people may ask you instead of the other way around, what you’re doing differently, or what’s happening for you. Enjoy, and thank you so much for writing.–Love, Grace

  4. Wow, great situation for inquiry (and it’s not passive). It’s one of those ones where it becomes easy to feel the violence within of what’s happening outside, and in these kids who are violent themselves. If you couldn’t have the thought that they must be eliminated, what would you do? There’s something important here, because of the intensity. All I know is, anyone I’ve ever met who has been violent, has been treated violently or is very frightened. I also know, there is a way to bring peace to any situation.

  5. I love your post. I’m thinking how it will help me in terms of my job as a long-term 1st grade guest teacher. I have 2 very violent kids in my class who are constantly hitting other children, screaming in their faces, calling them names and making them cry. One kid even started to choke another kid. The parents are angry because every day their children tell them about these 2 violent children. The school social worker can’t pull them entirely out of my class permanently due to political reasons along racial lines. I’m angered as these 2 students continue to physically harm my other students. I’m just furious.

  6. Dear Grace,
    Thank you so much for Today’s Note. It came to me exactly when I needed it. No surprise there! I have been a pleaser for much of my memory..turning myself into whatever it takes to get noticed, appreciated, admired, loved. I am fairly new to The Work and today makes the 3rd day reading Grace a Notes, and I am hooked! It makes perfect sense to me and I see myself and the world in an entirely different light! I feel FREE! But…then I find myself wanting to share, and zi have to stop and think, ” why do I NEED yo share what Zi am learning with my sister! close friends! and it comes back to, it’s because zi want them to think highly of me, admire, etc….so I do The Work and realize my motive and get back to what’s real. For now I will continue The Work for ME, allow what is and have faith that all is well. Thank you again for your inspiration and relatable (for me) daily notes. Sue

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