Under The Bus
Why do we throw ourselves under the bus as a way to gain the approval of others? Is it because we don’t love ourselves enough, and we believe their approval of us will boost our self-worth, thereby making us feel loved? It seems crazy to think that to feel loved we sacrifice a part of who we are.
I think at times each of us may have behaved this way, I know I have. I didn’t value myself enough to seek what was true for me. But what’s crazy was I thought I was living a fairly good life. It was only later when I realized I wasn’t happy that I noticed I was seeking my happiness in the approval of someone else. One thing I learned was they were just being who they were, I can’t blame them for my behavior, my happiness is my responsibility, not theirs.
How do we make the transition from throwing ourselves under the bus, to being true to ourselves? Is it possible we can learn to love ourselves enough so we do not have to behave this way to feel loved by others?
With these questions in mind, a conversation with my Inner Voice may add clarity to this subject. My questions will be in italics.
Why is it we throw ourselves under the bus as a way to gain the feeling of love from others?
From an early age, people have been taught to seek the approval of others as a way to build self-worth. This will shift focus away from learning to trust and love oneself. Oftentimes a sacrifice is a measure of one’s love for others. Yet to sacrifice a part of who a person truly is, is not an act of self-love. There is an expectation of a reward for the sacrifice. The reward may be the feeling of approval from others. This may not be enough to cause a person to love themselves. When this happens they will attempt another sacrifice with the hope of gaining the love they seek from others.
True self-love does not need to sacrifice any aspect of one’s life to feel accepted by others. Rather than sacrifice any aspect of one’s life, imagine acting out of love instead of an expected reward. To truly love oneself is a reward in itself. The love, and approval they are seeking from others will be found within themselves, and there is no need to throw oneself under the bus.
I know from my own experience, that no matter how many times I ended up under the bus, the other person did not love, or accept me, any more than before I sacrificed myself. Why is that?
You were asking them to behave in a way that pleased you. You thought that if you sacrificed one more time, they would change their attitude toward you and accept you. Yet you did not realize that this issue was more about you, than them. You behaved this way to gain a feeling of love within yourself. No other person can love, or accept you, as you can for yourself.
In asking others to approve, or show love to you, you were asking them to validate your life experience. The reason for your behavior, was because you were not validating your own life experience, you were leaving it up to others. This is a responsibility other people do not want, because they are doing what they can to validate their own life experience.
I think the people we are seeking approval and love from, do not even realize we are doing so.
This behavior is rooted in a lack of self-love. You do not love yourself enough to be true to yourself. When you turn your attention away from seeking acceptance from others, and begin to accept and love yourself, your life will change to one more in-line with the truth of who you are.
When you throw yourself under the bus for others, you are changing who you are to please them. If you do not receive their approval, you change even more as a way of trying a new approach, believing that a different persona will gain the approval, and love you are looking for.
That could be an endless cycle. How do we begin to gain our own approval, and experience our self-love?
This change begins with the thoughts you think about yourself. Any negative thought, word, or action not founded in love is a thought, word, or action that should be cleansed from your consciousness. All words and actions, begin with thoughts, any thought that does not have a foundation of love is a negative thought, that serves no useful purpose.
To become aware of your true self-love, listen to the words you say to yourself, if they are not loving recognize that these words form your opinion of yourself. It is from these opinions you create an image of who you think you are. When you begin to experience the powerful love within yourself, you will no longer need the acceptance of others to validate your life experience.
I work everyday at keeping myself out from under the bus. What about you? Can you learn to love yourself enough so you do not have to sacrifice any part of who you are?
Let me know what you think. Leave a comment, or question below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’m always open to exploring the conversation further.
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One of the challenges we face when we fall off the wagon is to not continue to abuse ourselves for taking the fall. It wasn’t until later in my life where I learned that everyone is doing the best they can, even me. At first I doubted this belief, but in time I came to understand the truth it holds.
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I’m grateful to write a monthly column for two online magazines. This month in New Spirit Journal you can find my article, “To Love Fully.”
While in Conscious Shift Magazine you can find my article, “Where Are You Headed?”
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Peace and well-being, Paul
Copyright Paul Hudon 2021