This post originally appeared on June 19, 2015.
I watched my daughters run around on a sunny, beautiful afternoon the other day, feeling completely validated in who they are. They were laughing with friends – everyone dressed differently doing different things – everyone feeling good, validated, and happy.
Then the thought hit me: when does that change?
I remember not feeling validated as a child. By validated, I mean, I didn’t always feel comfortable to be who I wanted to be, dress how I wanted to dress, and/or always say what I wanted to say. Don’t get me wrong, I was validated a lot and by no means am I making the case for a tough childhood. However, I am conscious of feeling invalidated, not seen, and not heard at times.
Being validated doesn’t mean that everyone always agrees with you, doesn’t mean you are right about everything, it simply means others respect you for who you are and what you are creating, doing, etc. They can see you for who you are and that is okay whether it is the same, different, opposite, or similar to them.
While I would love to say that it shouldn’t matter if others can see you, can validate you, all that matters is how you feel about yourself, at the end of the day, we don’t live on an island and comments, thoughts, opinions from others hurt, limit us, and stifle our ability to be who we want and need to be.
@@How many ways would you live your life differently if you felt free to be who you are?@@ To let all shades of you shine?
Validation has a lot to do with feeling safe. When you are safe to express yourself, you can find the validation from within and even if what you do or say is not agreed with, you are still validated in who you are.
Often we hide ourselves so we don’t have to experience invalidation or not feeling safe. It’s easier to hide, to say nothing, to not be who we really are, to fit in, or pretend to fit in.
I am a self-proclaimed master hider (until this blog…). One of the ways I hide is that on the surface everything looks ‘normal.’ I live in a house, am married, have kids, go to work, pay bills, drive a mini-van to soccer practice, and grocery shop. Normal.
The difference in me is that while I do all those things, I also see energy. I get information. I have spirits visit me. I look for answers and pay attention to the signs guiding me. I often know an answer or something a family member or friend is going to do before they communicate it. And often, I forget that this is not ‘normal.’
Over the years, I have realized more and more where I hide and where I am seen. I navigate the arenas where seeing auras is not acceptable and I adjust accordingly. I don’t talk to some family members and friends about yoga or energy oriented things rather focus on business, career, and tangible things like “How about those Red Sox?”
The piece that has increasingly nagged at me is that others are invalidated for pieces of their life much more important than whether or not they see auras and can talk to spirit. I see others hiding for big reasons – hiding who they love, hiding what they want to wear, hiding who they really want to be, making ‘safe’ choices as opposed to the choice they really want out of fear – fear it won’t be safe, fear it will be invalidated, and fear of the consequences.
This nagging has led me to change – led me to speak up more about my ability to see – not for further validation, rather in hopes of making it safe for others to be who they need and want to be.
The more we each speak our truth, the easier it is for others to speak their truth. The more we can validate ourselves for who we are, the easier it is to validate others for who they are. The more we work from a place of neutrality, the easier to experience the world and the choices of others from neutrality. The more we see the pain created in others when they can’t be who they are, the more we can seek to stop that pain. The more we see, the more we allow, the more we open up to possibility, to love, to acceptance, the more we collectively heal.
As we do.