It’s Not You, It’s Me! How Learning to Validate Yourself is a Life-Changer
For years I’ve been hearing and reading the phrase that “what other people think of you is none of your business.” My reaction to it was always the same. Something like “WTF?! Of course it is!” As an individual with a warrior spirit, I could never fathom how if someone had negative, warped or harmful feelings or beliefs about me it shouldn’t be something that concerns me. Surely, I would have to instantly wack out my light mirror shield and flash -bam it all right back where it came from?
And then one morning I got it. My marriage had ended over eight months earlier, and the night before I had seen a video about a new trend in England of holding “divorce ceremonies”. Like marriage ceremonies, these involved the couple in question inviting family and friends to a gathering during which the pair would announce in public their parting words. Their thanks for all they had experienced as a couple, and their reasons for needing to move on. Tears were shed, knowing, supportive smiles were spread and the couple then wandered off into a forest together, soon parting ways by walking in different directions.
I would never wish to hold such a ceremony myself, but I was deeply moved by the intent behind it. Touched, and a little emotional overall, I sent the link to my ex and wrote him a message that was like what I would have said to him if we were to have had such a ceremony. It was a message of pure, heartfelt love and appreciation, clear intent, and considerate thought. I felt liberated and happy by writing it and sending it.
There was no catch, no hook, no hidden insult or secret agenda. The following morning I woke up and saw that he had read it but not replied. My emotional habit in the past, my trigger-reaction, would have been to feel a little miffed that he had not responded. But that morning, I felt at peace. I thought to myself that he may have felt he had nothing to say, or that it had taken him by surprise, or that he needed time to process it. My monkey mind still found its way to needle it’s way into my morning, though: ‘Maybe you shouldn’t have sent it! You’re exposing yourself to someone who’s found do many resourceful beats to show he doesn’t care!’
Shuffling through my deck of beloved oracle cards I took a deep breath and plucked one out. ‘Forgive Yourself.’ it read, ‘You Have Done Nothing Wrong.’ Only one week earlier I had been told the same by a trustworthy and admirable spiritual teacher that “Authenticity and vulnerability are your power, and there is nothing wrong with expressing them freely.”
And right then, an affirmation crystallized in my heart – one that was not a thought, or a string of beautiful words like a diamond necklace to sparkle around my expression chakra, but a message that felt completely and utterly true: “I do not need validation from anyone or anything, to know and feel that I am loved, lovable, powerful, desirable, abundant, beautiful, healthy and blessed!” And as I repeated it out loud I witnessed an entire universe of wealth, health, beauty, miracles and love within me. Yes, that’s where it all is! Inside. Not outside! What others think of me is none of my business, because that’s inside them. What’s inside them has nothing to do with me, because it’s theirs, and what’s inside me is my own.
Unless I am open and willing to engage with the other then it does not touch me.
This was a breakthrough for me, one that I had never experienced in any form throughout my life. Until that moment I had constantly sought validation. What others think, feel, see, hear, smell, dream, fear, and how they project that on me, whether randomly, subconsciously, recklessly or calculatingly, I’d permitted it to guide my own sense of self.
The greatest mystery that I see many people live out is that even when we know or intuitively foresee that a form of contact could hurt or endanger us, out curiousity, blind courage and sometimes despair for bed us into painful errors where we let the other put their opinion if us above ours. Why? Because it is a way of offering us a sense of existing, of engaging, of being recognized (even if wrongly) acknowledged (even if negatively), raking on a role, learning, experiencing.
Certainly it doesn’t mean that having had such an a-ha moment changed my entire, complex wiring instantly. Of course, I still seek external validation. Acknowledgement, compassion, love, support, respect and so much more, and I probably always will. Practising the art of validating myself has only just begun, and will require discipline and practise, commitment and vision, flexibility and innovative thinking, like any other commitment. But it’s a start. Especially having felt the bold and beautiful truth of that affirmation within me in all its very real and palpable and eternal dimensions, knowing that what already exists within me is enough, is an incredible place to start.
We are all aware of at least a handful of our singular merits, yet we choose to forget or overlook them all too often, living in a haze of thoughts and plodding through the motions of life.
It requires some discipline and enthusiastic focus to keep coming back to that point, reminding oneself with love and kindness, patience and faith, breathing, believing and repeating forward steps along a new path. It’s an ongoing process of building a truly living rapport with the one and only being whose opinions and treatment truly matter.
Happy New Beginnings!