Letters From A Devastated Artist (6)

“There’s no doubt about it, show business lures the people who didn’t get enough love, attention, or approval early in life and have grown up to become bottomless, gaping vessels of terrifying, abject need. Please laugh.” – Dennis Miller

Dear Approval,

Oh how I long for you. Your words are like honey on my tongue. You are a sumptuous banquet for my hungry and needy soul. I can’t get enough. I will go out of my way, forget self-consciousness, and even prostitute myself on the altar of ego, just to hear one syllable of affirmation. Oh how I need you.

But your words are fleeting. Like an cool aperitif on a hot summer afternoon, your satisfaction fades all too quickly. Like a breathtaking sunset, you bring a happy sadness. Your honey is like nectar licked from a razor’s edge, a delicious agony. But still I seek you.

I don’t understand why people don’t understand me. Why can’t they see what I see? Why must I redundantly waste invaluable time and constantly use multiple words to explain my dreams? And when I do so, no one says thank you. No one says I understand. No one says I see.

Why must I carry this unbearable burden of empathy? So that I feel a person’s excruciating hurt as deeply as my very own? And I know their selfishness, and thus my own. It seems a cruel twist of fate, this double curse.

My dreams intimidate. My empathy debilitates.

And so, I’m barren. I’m hungry. I’m…starving…to death.

Do my longings, even this insatiable hunger for approval really come from God?

Do you understand me? Do you feel my pain?

Do you like me? Do you really, really like me?

And tell me, is it only me that feels this way?


31 Responses to “Letters From A Devastated Artist (6)”

  1. WOW!! I believe your letters are becoming a place of healing, and your sharing them is opening up the door for others to heal! Thank you so much for giving of yourself, and being honest and open in sharing these letters!
    I know that I have been left thinking, and searching deeper in my own life. Thanks!

  2. These posts have been a timely ministry to me, and where I currently am in life, and my walk with God. Thank you.

    I have come to understand God's approval of me. Yes he 'approves' me. Being so, I no longer look for approval from anyone else, or anything. Work, family, wife, parents, job, hobbies, etc., they no longer have a say in my approval, or more importantly, disapproval.

    • Yes!! Ultimately it is God's approval that is lasting and fulfilling. But, it is always a struggle not to seek the approval of those around us or those who inspire us. I pray we will all learn to rest in Christ's grace.

      • Yes, Ronnie. Don't you think we need both? Ultimately, our approval must come from God, but others bring community…

        • No doubt…you are right. God created us that way. I guess if the foundation is God's approval then the rest is gravy. Now realize, there are some foods that just don't taste very good without the gravy.:)

    • Thanks, Rocco. Who we are is certainly more important than what we do.

  3. Seems I need to remind myself to read this in the evening. Instead I sit at my desk at work hiding behind my monitor to hide my tears. You just spoke the very words my heart has been speaking for a life time.

  4. jaw dropping WOW. Raw. Passionate. Soul drenching. Naked. True.

    You Nailed it!


    • Naked, not nude, huh? Ha! Just kidding!

      • nope — naked fits. In a wonderful way. You are are an empath, I learned that at the cove. So am I. I think artists come by that naturally. Mine gets me in trouble if I don't learn how to control it. This post made me cry. I've had a strange lent. This series and this particular post, has been part of an ongoing conversation with God. I keep trying to change the radio station and He keeps bringing me back to insecurity, hurt, and fear. I do these mini fasts for a few days and He comes back with — that's nice, but why don't you give me your insecurities instead? As my friend told me today — God tells us things when we need them, not necessarily when we want them. Lots to digest.

  5. Soul Searching, Randy. Brings so much of what motivates us to the surface. Makes us somewhat uncomfortable…in a good way! Thanks

  6. Randy.
    What a profoundly personal post.
    How appropriate to reflect on during Holy Week.
    Thanks. @AndrewRanson

  7. This hit me right in the heart. You put words to an emotion that is nearly impossible for me to explain. Thank you for your honesty.

  8. One thing I have learned over the years is that we can empathize without feeling sorry for people. Listen, Christ died on his cross and destroyed the lack of approval for all eternity. God loves each and every one of us in ways we haven't even imagined yet. When we make His love the focus of our lives, then we don't look to others for our needs, but we manifest God's approval for everyone. Yes, many people do many horrible things that God wil deal with in due time, but His love is greater than those horrible things. Let's get our eyes off of people and onto Him–then we will be able to give our neighbors what they need from us.

  9. This series of posts is going to be your next book…right? Right?

  10. Wow. I have no words. This has moved me.


  1. Tweets that mention Letters From A Devastated Artist (6) | RANDY ELROD | Creating Culture | Influencing Influencers -- Topsy.com - March 31, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mindpunch. mindpunch said: Does need 4 approval come from God?My 6th in a series"Letters From A Devastated Artist:Dear Approval" http://ow.ly/1teek (via @RandyElrod) […]

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    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mindpunch: Does need 4 approval come from God?My 6th in a series”Letters From A Devastated Artist:Dear Approval” http://ow.ly/1teek (via @RandyElrod)…

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