This is one of the odd, yet powerful, gains of Personal Sovereignty: the right of others to choose what and who they like and want in their lives.
This pissed me off hardcore at first. Especially so when it came to parents. I felt entitled to their approval and their support. As a child, I was entitled to that. But as an adult, I’ve chosen to see it from a space of autonomy. This liberated me from a host of attachment. Controlling behaviors and obsessive thoughts about what they thought about me went silent.
I started to get in touch with ME, and my feelings. What was real for in this situation? I felt deeply sad, and I had to grieve what was lost. However, there was a major lack of shame and self-loathing. I didn’t feel like a victim anymore of their rejection. Instead, I felt strength in acknowledging their choice. It had made me free.
Now I was truly free to also choose who I liked and wanted, and it empowered my ability to reject and to connect proactively.
Its a strange, powerful thing, personal autonomy. Where are you holding onto approval? What do you need in order to let go of getting it?