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.