We are living in a time when validation is probably the most sought after thing (right behind security, which is the next topic). When it’s time to make decisions, we reach for the phone or the computer or flip on our favorite network to find some way of adding credibility to our choices. It’s as though everyone is an authority except the person making the decision!
For example, I bet some of you clicked on this post as a means of validating your desire to stop seeking validation! With that said, I’m selfishly glad you did.
Personally, I have a horrible need to feel validated by external sources. When my beliefs or practices shift, I need to know that the path I choose is acceptable (or at least defensible) in the external world. Google has become the means by which I try to find acceptance regarding my body, my workout preferences, my political views, and my religious beliefs.
Until last night.
Talking with a beloved friend, she pointed out to me that my obsessive need to research and validate myself from the outside pointed to a lack of authority and self-acceptance within. I hadn’t considered this. After all, if I recognize my own God-given authority in my life, and if I accept myself as a being that was created “good,” then what need have I for the approval of others? This is especially puzzling when one considers how fickle and temporary such approval can be!
It’s true that humans are social creatures and want to feel like we belong. However, this sense of belonging shouldn’t lead to self-flagellation, denial, and self-editing based on what everyone else deems acceptable. Rather, the feedback from those we love and care about should either be accepted or rejected based on how it resonates within us, especially since WE are the one’s living our life! Further, if the people around us keep insisting that we cover-up or change our self-expression in order to “fit in,” that probably isn’t a group interested in loving us so much as who we could be if we abide by their standards.
Who has time or energy for that kind of stress? NO ONE.
Yet so many of us waste our time and energy seeking that validation. We compare ourselves to the famous or “successful,” we make decisions based on what our parents or friends will think, we believe what the church says we should, and we view the world the way we are told to by sources we trust, for better or worse. Hell, our president was elected largely because he gave validation to a frustrated population!
My point is that this need to be validated has real world consequences. The “powers that be” benefit from our unwillingness to think for ourselves and trust our gut. Our economy depends on your feeling inadequate and in need of more.
Doesn’t matter. Just so long as you believe you need it and are willing to pay for it.
But what if we change this?
What if we decide to trust our gut? What if we explore the paths that intrigue and delight us? What if our energy goes to those places, people, and practices that enable us to love and accept ourselves and each other to the greatest degree possible?
We’d be more secure in ourselves, and less at the mercy of the world around us. We’d finally grasp how powerful we are and just how much we have to contribute. I personally think that would be beautiful, and it is my prayer that you would join me on this long road to self-acceptance and empowerment.
You are a person created and loved just as you are. Take ownership of your choices and needs, and pursue whatever will enable you to live a life bursting at the seams with love, compassion, confidence, enjoyment, and peace. Life is too short for anything less.
Peace be with you!