I have found, and seen, read, heard, that validating your feelings, validating yourself is an integral part of healing. It is especially helpful if you’ve not been given to self trust due to religious upbringing, overbearing parent, or other early life experiences that robbed you of feeling worthy of trust.
I’m not a therapist, or a licensed professional, so please, take this as what it is: my own experiences and thoughts on the matter.
To write this post I’ve had to deal with a lot of feelings surrounding both this specific post and my blog in general. I’ve been through a few iterations of the post and have had to work through and validate my feelings before I’ve been able to move forward and find my way here.
Validation, what does that look like?
For me it starts with simply sitting with what I’m feeling, whether or not I understand what that is. I am not good at this. Just this last week a huge overwhelming whirlwind of emotions assaulted me with no clues as to why or from where. What did I do? Tried to external process my way through them without giving them space to be felt. Once I sat with them, felt them, and, yes, cried and sobbed, they moved through and I felt less overwhelmed and confused.
I guess that before all of the sitting with the feelings you probably should be able to notice when things are starting to dysregulate. I am still a beginner at this, too. The feelings storm this last week really came out of the blue and I was slow to realize that anything was wrong. Some of that was my stubbornness, just push past them and they will go away. When really they just get bottled to come out later.
Once you are feeling them and allowing them space, then is when I’ve found that a bit of processing them can be of use. For me that looks like figuring out how old I’m feeling within the feelings because certain parts of me from different ages can get triggered. Sometimes while my adult self is confused because to their perspective all is fine, what are these emotions we are feeling?
Remember the umbrella? When I was grieving with my inner child she needed to be validated. Her feelings were way out of proportion with the situation but that was not the issue. She’d never truly been validated for those feelings and thus they held on and got triggered when similar things happened. This is why I find aging myself in those feelings so important.
In the case of my inner child she doesn’t feel so keen on my mom a lot of the time. Adult me has done a lot of work and is on decent terms with my mom. It wasn’t until I understood that the different parts of me could feel differently and that was often a huge chunk of the confusion of feelings that I understood the importance of validating all of my selves. We not only need to validate ourselves here and now but also to validate our past selves for what they were feeling that became a wound rather than healing through acceptance and validation.
Processing and validating the emotions isn’t a one time deal either, you will need to keep doing it again and again. Eventually, hopefully it will become less intense. But especially feelings triggered by old hurts take a lot of validation work.
I know it may go against individualistic mindsets but I also think that validation can, and sometimes should, in small parts, come from those we love. I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling the need to be isolated, because I felt different, because of lack of trust, but I’ve come to embrace that we need community in our lives. Humans are social. Doesn’t mean that it has to be a big community but someone, at least, to help validate you when you cannot. To help you find your way towards self validation.
Because sometimes the feelings are too massive, too ugly, too much for you to even start to find room for them, to feel them. Self validation is still important for healing but it doesn’t always come first. The support, love and validation of others is important too.
Simply hearing my hubs say that it is ok for me to feel whatever madness is happening has released many knots in my self, allowed me to rest easier and eventually find room to self validate. Hearing that a friend has similar moments makes me feel less alone and more able to look at and validate my own feelings. We need our people. And they need us.
Whatever your feeling, however your feeling is important and if you are like me, you may have some past trauma and invalidated feelings that make current moments especially interesting at times. Learning to accept, welcome, and validate my feelings has been a huge help in finding peace in myself and in the world I inhabit. I hope you can find yours too.
PS. My stickers have arrived! I wouldn't have gotten here, to having stickers ordered and plans to make Etsy shop listings to sell them without validation of feelings. Truly. I still find it strange how connected everything is and yet holistic creativity has been a great joy on my journey. It allows for everything in my life to become a part of my creative process, as it should be. Ahh, I'm so happy with how the stickers turned out! Stay posted for listing announcements, hopefully soon!