After completing over 4,500 episodes of the highest rated talk show in American television history, Oprah Winfrey said that one of the most valuable things she’s learned is that all of the 30,000+ participants who appeared on the show had one thing in common. They all wanted validation. (Video where she speaks about validation.)
On my journey, it occurred to me that during my dark days, I was seeking specific validation for all of my specific traumas, identities, and experiences. The validation I was looking for as a queer, Asian American adoptee was very specific. I thought I’d find validation through community and meeting other people who were like me. But other people will never be like you, at least not in the way that you wish for them to be.
The sum of our life experiences is very specific to us, but we seek out specific validation from the rest of the world. We will never receive this validation externally. We might gain support from other people who have gone or are going through similar experiences, but these other people have their own specific experiences that will never be exactly like yours.
I joined feminist community groups, but my queer identity wasn’t being validated.
I joined LGBTQ community groups, but my Asian American identity wasn’t being validated.
I joined Asian American community groups, but my adoptee identity wasn’t being validated.
I joined Asian American adoptee community groups with LGBTQ and feminist members, and there was still no full validation!
I felt alone and isolated, because I thought the world didn’t understand me. I alienated myself, because I thought I didn’t deserve anyone.
When I had my awakening, it finally occurred to me. How silly was I to expect the world to validate me, when the entire time I could have just validated my own specific experiences! After all, I’m the only person who really knows me and what I’ve been through.
One of my favorite spiritual coaches, Ralph Smart aka Infinite Waters Diving Deep says, “We never attract what we want, we always attract what we are.”
Deep down, we know that we are deserving of validation and love, which is why we seek it out through other people in the first place. Maybe it’s not that we think we don’t deserve it, but we are afraid of what might happen if we decide to like who we are.
I went into my first and current relationship thinking and expecting for my partner to validate me. Early in the relationship, she validated me to the best of her ability, but I was disappointed when the weight of my insecurities and fears were still making me feel that I didn’t deserve her validation or love. She was doing everything that she could to make me feel adequate, but because I felt I didn’t deserve it, it didn’t allow myself to fully feel her affirmations. I pushed it all away, not because it wasn’t good enough, but subconsciously, I thought I didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t the specific validation I was looking for. At the time, I didn’t realize that what I was looking for, I could have offered myself.
Stop traumatizing and pushing away the people you love, because you have unresolved trauma, yourself. Hurt people hurt people, and the longer you remain in your hurt, the more you will continue to hurt those who want to support you. If you don’t want to fix yourself for you, at least fix yourself for those who you are impacting.
All relationships, not just romantic relationships, don’t need to involve projection of insecurity, self-doubt, and unhealed trauma. You should be in a relationship with someone who can offer you support as you navigate through these things on your own. Not someone who uses your vulnerabilities against you, projects their suffering onto you, or expects you to fix them on your own. You deserve better than that.
We are under thie illusion that if we find someone who validates us, that magically makes our insecurity or trauma go away. When someone empathizes or is compassionate about our experiences, it only alleviates the symptoms of our suffering, but it doesn’t address or heal the source of the suffering.
You deserve to validate yourself. You deserve to love who you are. The world will not validate or love you until you do. Once you do, you will see that the world agrees with you more. This happens because the Law of Attraction is the system our consciousness uses to experience our thoughts. When we validate ourselves, the universe validates us back.
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“All This Love” by Angus and Julia Stone from (Self Titled) Angus and Julia Stone
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