I try hard to win the approval of those around me, especially those who are close to me. I have been trying hard to please a particular group of people in my life, as I feel they will be in my life for a while. I know there is no human being on earth that is perfect, and there is no human being on this earth that can be perfect.

Yet, I still feel like I have to try super hard for this group of people to like me, to accept me and to welcome me into their space. But what good is it for me to try hard and put on a false self, just for the exterior to crack or for them to see me in my "natural" state and see someone different than they have originally seen?

It does them no good and it does me no good. Sometimes I try and I fail. Failing makes me human, being perfect (or trying to be) makes me a robot. It makes me appear to be distant and uninterested and disengaged and unauthentic. It makes me appear rigid and stiff.

Sometimes I try and I try so hard that I miss out on genuine fun, happiness and I miss out on small moments – because I am calculating the next movement or the next thing I will say.

Sometimes I try and I make things worse. In the moment I drop the ball I am sure some of those around me are saying, "yes, I knew she was human just like the rest of us. I knew she would mess up but it is fine". I need to be one of those people, to myself. I often beat myself up when I make a mistake or drop the ball in some way. I know that should not be my response but it has been for quite some time.

I want to be free from the pressure I have placed on myself to be perfect and to win the approval of those around me and to no longer beat myself up for being human. The first step is acknowledgment. This is my acknowledgment.

I will leave us with a prayer,

Father I pray that you would help me to be more present in the moment. That every conversation I rehearse in my mind would be thrown out the window. Every moment I prepare myself for would be different than I expect. Would you keep me on my toes and help me to live more freely. Would you take away the pressure I feel to try super hard to win the approval of those around me? They will like me or they won't, the choice is theirs and I need only to be myself. The Jasmine you created me to be, is loved, accepted and wanted; by you if no one else, may that truth be enough for me.

I pray these things in your son Jesus' name,  Amen