Support, not Approval

I think my brain is skewed.  Ok, don’t mentally reply to that, because I KNOW my brain is skewed.  Can you tell me what the difference is between ‘support’ and ‘approval’.  They’re so close in my brain that I often overlap their meanings as the same.  I often tend to donate to causes that I not only support, but approve.  Have I ever done this to a cause I did not approve?  Would that be a betrayal, or a hypocracy?

In my life, seeking approval has been key.  Never wanting to disappointment my parents, my siblings, my friends, my church, society…but what about asking for their support?  Have I done things in which they did not understand, but still supported?  Yes!  My move to Montana was probably one of them, choosing to date someone 2500 miles away and 12 years older than I was another, getting a tattoo was definitely one.  However, for some reason, in knowing that I was supported in these decisions, I wasn’t necessarily gaining their approval.

I want to see these two words as well defined in themselves.  Supporting someone does not mean you approve of what they are doing.  I have supported many friends in their journeys, even though I did not always agree with their decisions.  It is part of relationships and love.  Most times, I may have given an opinion on the decision, but in the end, I hoped that I let them know that despite my misgivings, I supported them.  I still do.

I do not see it that way.  It is my assumption that if someone supports me, they approve of me, and my life choices, but it is not so.  I do not need to seek approval for my actions, for my decision, but I do hope for support.  I hope that my friends and family will let me know “Brenda, I understand you’re moving forward, and we want to support you in however you choose to do that.”  It may seem juvenile to need to hear that, but it is not.  I am not asking them to agree with my decisions, to how I go about moving forward from some tragedies and pain and past, but I do want them to support me.

I need to hear it, I need to hear that you support me.

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Comments 2

  1. Brenda- I support you!
    And offer hugs.

  2. I am still cheering you on. Go where your heart is leading you.

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