Thursday, May 30, 2013

What is Validation and Why Do You Need It?

Just like children, emotions heal when they are heard and validated. Jill Bolte Taylor

I've been reading quotes on validation, and almost all of them imply that validating a person means approval, and praise. I don't agree. Oprah Winfrey described it as I have always perceived it. She said, I've talked with 30,000 people on this show, and they all wanted validation. Everybody wants to know, "Do you see me? do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything?" And I would add, Do "I" mean anything?

Next to being loved, we need to know we're acknowledged as being of some value in the outer world with others--that we belong. This is an inherent need. But it's also important to validate ourself within, and know we have value before this is acknowledged in the outer.

Inner validation is something I've struggled with my whole life. When I was a child, I looked outside of myself for validation, but I wasn't heard. In fact, I was forbidden to express any problems, opinions, or any negative feelings about anything. Only positive statements were accepted. Therefore I was invalidated, and I felt invisible. There was always that voice inside that said, "No one sees or hears you, so you don't matter." Maybe this type of inner struggle is why so many people desperately need outside validation. But we must learn to first find it inside in spite of outward appearances.

Now looking back on my childhood, I value those years of depression and loneliness, because they led me to a career as a psychotherapist in the mental health field where I could help others understand their pain and work through it to a sense of validation. Then when I retired, I began writing a self-help blog to continue this mission. However, every week I write something that I think might help someone, but since I rarely get comments, I have no idea if anyone is reading it. Am I just spinning my wheels going nowhere? Should I stop blogging and find another way to express? Or should I keep blogging even though no one is reading or benefiting from my messages? Perhaps the lack of response is there to help me learn inner validation. Maybe we all need times like this to wake us up to move forward. We can know this in our mind, but we need to know it in our heart.

When you feel that need inside to be validated, to know that you count for something in this world, please know that you do count. God only made one like you. You are unique with your own unique gifts. And that makes you special. And validated.

I wish you much inner and outer validation and a happy heart.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Seeking Abundance

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. Wayne Dyer

We usually think of abundance as applied to money, but it applies to every issue in life. This can come in positive and negative ways. And sometimes we have too much abundance in heavy burdens we carry on our shoulders through life. But what if we could change that to love, peace, wisdom, happy relationships, health, work we love, money we need, even hugs and belly laughs.

Each of us has everything we need inside to create an abundant life. But we have to teach our mind to stop going in counter productive directions with worry, fretting, frustration, poor self-esteem, etc. and those childhood messages that stay in our heads that say, "You can't have that, you don't deserve that, you're not capable, shame on you." Those negative thoughts and messages are not true. You have every right to have, be, and do whatever you want to live a full, rewarding, happy life.

Abundance already exists. It's a universal law. And the Divine Source of all our good is within us. We're always connected to it, but not always aware of it. Our responsibility is to turn away from a sense of lack and tune into the inner Divine Source for the good we want in our life.

1.  Make a list of abundance you want, and state your intention to have it.
2.  Affirm that your inner Divine Source is the true source of all your good, and that your abundance is already yours, even if you don't feel this is true.
3.  Develop awareness. Each day pay attention to your thoughts, and when you notice negative thinking, a sense of lack, confront the thought and affirm abundance. "I am cared for in every way. My needs are being met. I am greatly blessed."
4.  Develop an attitude of abundance. Think abundance. Expect and trust that what you want will manifest, even if you don't yet feel trusting.
5.  Develop an attitude of gratitude. Every day look for things for which to be grateful. A smile from a stranger, a parking place at the grocery store, a good nights sleep. And thank your inner Divine Source for all your good.
6.  Be patient with yourself, and give it time. Don't give up.

As you go through each day, consciously use your tools for change with intention. You'll know what is yours to do, and you'll see what you want effortlessly manifesting in your life. You may have spent many years feeling lack, but positive change will come.

I wish you a happy, abundant life.


PS. I'm a person who needs reminders of what I already know, because sometimes I slip back into my old ways of thinking. So I'm now again on a path to create the kind of abundance in my life that brings a happy sense of well-being. I'd be happy to have you join me.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Facing New Beginnings

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. Frank A. Clark

Life is a journey of new beginnings, usually small ones, but sometimes the big ones mean major life changes. Some are happy ones, like a new job you really want, or moving someplace you always wanted to live, or sudden income that will change your lifestyle, etc. But others may be painful, like losing a job or home, a sudden illness or injury, moving to care for a loved one, even death of a loved one, etc. Either way they can take a toll on life if not handled with care.

At age 47, I wanted to attend UNLV in Las Vegas where I had lived and had friends, and then work in the mental health field. I had just enough money for the move from Florida and no money for school. My heart jumped with excitement, but my mind gave me every negative, scary thought it could muster up. But I did it anyway. I stayed with friends for a while, got a school loan and stipend, worked at Denny's on weekends to support myself, and accomplished my new beginning. But it took work to keep myself on the right path.

Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror. Byrd Baggett

New beginnings require work on the inner and outer parts of your life. It's a long process, from your first thought of a change to finally feeling safe and comfortable in your new situation. The following are some thoughts on how change can take place without having to put your head in a bucket to make it all go away.

1. Trust yourself and the still, small Voice inside for guidance, comfort and strength when you need it.
2. Be clear about your goals. Tell the negative, scary thoughts to take a hike, and keep your mind on your goals. When you talk to your thoughts, and you mean what you say, most of the time they will obey you.
3. Create a plan and ways to implement it. But keep your mind focused in the present as you go along.
4. Make a list of life strategies you've used in the past. Let go of those that no longer serve you, and replace them with new ones you need in your new situation.
5. Take one step at a time, and ask, "What can I do to accomplish my next step?" (When I applied for work at Denny's, there was no opening. So everyday I sat at the counter with my coffee and got to know the manager. I got the first opening)
6. Connect with others in your new place and/or situation. Seek help from people already close to you and from those involved in your new beginning.
7. Make a place in your heart for good memories, and give yourself some space and time to mourn while you're moving forward. If you feel lost or scared, dwell on the past, or doubt yourself, don't stuff your feelings. They're normal. Time and your own efforts will heal them. You really are okay, and you will survive.

A new beginning can mean a new way of life. It's worth the time and effort. Be patient and allow your new life to unfold in a peaceful way.

I wish you peace and joy on your journey.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Time of Transition

Every positive change - every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness - involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, or initiation. I have never found an exception. Dan Millman

Each change in life is an opportunity for growth, but change can't take place without a period of transition from letting go of the old to embrace the new. These transition periods may be almost unnoticeable or painfully profound, depending upon the situation. At times like this, we may want to cling to the familiar, but change requires that we accept the transitional state and move through it. This is part of the process.

Do you ever feel stuck, like you're spinning your wheels and going nowhere? Or everything is at a stand-still in limbo? Or you're leaving something behind, but not yet moving in a new direction? Sometimes this can feel like a dark tunnel with no way out and no end to it. A change is taking place, and you're in transition.

The next message you need is right where you are. Ram Dass

We're a society of activity, going and doing. And being in a tunnel, waiting for something new to enter, can bring up all kinds of negative emotions. You fret and stew because nothing is happening. I can't just sit here and do nothing. Well, why not? There's purpose in everything that happens, and transitions are a gift. They're times for inner work, reflecting upon life as you know it, examining what worked in the past but is no longer useful, a time to know yourself better and gain strength from that still small voice inside upon which you can always depend.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into chrystal clearness. Mahatma Gandi

When you find yourself in a transition tunnel, pay attention to your thoughts. Are they taking you into despair or are they lifting your spirits to a higher level? Sometimes you can't change what is happening or not happening. But while you do what is yours to do during this time, you can quiet your mind and listen for direction. Know that this is a time of preparation for the next step on your journey. Allow your life to unfold in a peaceful way, stronger than you were.

I wish you an easy road ahead with blessings you never imagined.