By Steve Beckow, Golden Age of Gaia
I felt wretched today – all my friends are away at the moment. I felt lonely, sad, forlorn.
Then I wrote a stimulating article and found myself at the end of it saying “Yes!”
I immediately saw that what was present in the situation as it existed at the moment was unconscious invalidation (Happy? “Not me. I don’t deserve it”). And what was missing was conscious validation (“Yes! Yay, Steve!”).
I grew up in a circumstance of more invalidation from my Father than I could hold out from. Over time I came to feel undeserving, incompetent, you name it.
When in present time I added self-validation to the mix (by self-prescription), my whole outlook changed. The feelings of sad and mad instantly evaporated and I felt not just glad but magnificent.
When I feel dismayed and forlorn, I need to remind myself that Big Steve (my Higher Self, my Adult) is not present. Call him back. Let him organize me and get me moving with lots of validation and encouragement.
I have to take responsibility for this process if I’m to do what’s lined up for me. There’ll be no room for excuses later. If I don’t take responsibility for keeping me going, keeping my spirits up, who will?
The shift I’m looking at is from being other-validated to being self-validating.
I have to call myself on something and acknowledge that my Father actually did validate me. At my baseball games, if I hit a home run, he’d shout, “Atta boy, Stevie! Good show!”
In my resentment towards him, I used to characterize this comment as coming from the dog training school of parenting. But when I put my reviling of my Father aside, I get that he really did mean it, as much as he meant anything.
Dad was horribly abused as a child. Compared to his upbringing, mine was lenient. He was thoughtless and cruel at times, but I always had a roof over my head – whereas he didn’t.
So he did validate me. Time to stop saying otherwise and get off it.
Validation is like water to the plant. Looking to others for it is depending on an unreliable source. Let me look to myself and seek validation from someone who knows and loves me.
Wonderful insights, Steve. And, if you haven’t already, read the chapter “Memory Laps” in Davod Sedaris’s book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Brings poignant humor to the invalidation scenario.