The Importance of Self-Validation
by Kim Jackson of Peace, Love and Pretty Things
“Don’t reach out when u want validation. Wait & let Love move u. Share from the fullness of your Heart rather than the emptiness of your fear” -Mastin Kipp
When I saw this on twitter a couple of weeks ago, it instantly spoke to me. I remember a time when I was just a big ball of emotional neediness; and, more often than not, I dumped those emotions on the people with whom I was in relationships. I related in a hungry, needy way; as opposed to actually opening up and responding to things lovingly. This type of behavior was such a catch 22 because despite their trying, there was no way anyone could ever give me enough; so I was always begging for more. “Feed me (emotionally)!” “Love Me!” “Soothe Me!” “Validate Me!” was what I seemed to be constantly asking with my actions. I tried to suck them dry as I desperately sought to fill a void that could only be filled from within. And, of course, I felt angry with, or hurt by them for not being what I thought I needed them to be. It was an ugly and self-destructive cycle.
Thankfully, I matured and began to understand the importance of self-soothing and self-validation. I stopped verbally dumping my fears and insecurities on the people around me, expecting them to pick up the pieces and solve my issues. I learned to trust myself, and to walk myself through the pain or uncertainty in a logical, reasonable manner—but most importantly, with love. I like to call it “talking myself off the ledge” and I can do it anywhere and anytime now—out loud or in my head. In the past, there would be instances where I would be steaming mad for hours, cause arguments and stew in anger. Now, I’m able to turn those negative emotions around in minutes; or at least calm myself enough to be able to deal with them privately later on.
As a result, my relationships with everyone around me are so much better because I’m not relying on them to fill me up. I come to all my interactions charged and full of love; ready to give, rather than seeking to receive. And if I get that love back, it’s a beautiful bonus.
If the destructive behavior sounds familiar to you, forgive yourself, and know that it’s easy to overcome. You’re human, so you’re going to feel fear, insecurity, mistrust, hurt and anger; expect it and accept it. It’s what you do with those emotions that will matter. When you feel fearful, spend time alone, sit with your feelings and evaluate them. When you have soothed yourself, loved yourself, and been your own cheerleader; you’ll be better able to choose the best course of action and move forward in love, instead of fear.