The freedom of nothing left to prove

It seems so much of our life is spent working to prove something to someone else.
In our early years we aspire to gain the approval of our parents or key mentors that wish to see us succeed in education, sports, music or whatever dream they hold for us or share with us.
Sometimes, it’s the approval of our peers in these same pursuits, or other less beneficial objectives of youthful exuberance. There are those who succeed here and those who fail.
Often these successes or failures catapult our emotional make up forward setting some of the undertones for our life. I know in my case, the failures left an underlying “I’m going to show you” settled deep in my craw. I drew upon that hurt for many years pushing me to over achieve in many ways.
No matter the outcome of youth we step forward hoping to once again prove to the world that we can be somebody – a success in work, a success in picking the right person to marry, a success in raising children, a success in whatever is next on the long list that we seek others’ approval to prop up our esteem, our importance, and our life.
Often we find ourselves in a cycle of seeking others approval for the rest of our life.
In a conversation, I was having with a friend the other day, I said something that I had not even thought about. As I look back upon the path I have travelled, I am blessed to have had so many distinctive mentors to which I have tried to prove my value in some aspect of my professional or personal endeavors.
As I began thinking except in the form of being a creator of art in word, note and other form seeking the approval of those of you who buy my work and help me sustain the existence I enjoy, I thought I had no one left to prove anything to. Many of my key mentors who held those roles in my life have taken their final curtain calls.
As I relayed the story of a recent acting experience, I heard the words come out of my mouth, that I really wanted someone to acknowledge I could do what I was aspiring to do.  I realized that I had not yet left behind that desire of proving something to someone. It was still buried inside me with one more youthful goal that had not been achieved in full but could still be accomplished if I tried hard enough.
There it is driving me forward. After years of feeling I had nothing left to prove, which sometimes is not a bad place to be, once again, my blood is pumping with a desire, a hope, a goal that energizes my step.
So what is better, being to the point of nothing left to prove to anyone or having someone who inspires you to do more? I guess it depends on your own get up and go. I know one lady around 90 working on her doctorate. She has nothing to prove except to please her own soul.
If you are generally a self-starter, you probably move along OK, but every now and again, somebody may need to pour a little gasoline in your carburetor to get a spark and provide that forward momentum. If you need that in your life, I pray you have someone who provides that opportunity in love. Because in reality there are only two of us in this race to the finish line, us and the good Lord, who gives us a new chance every day to prove we are somebody serving, sharing and loving others for Him.