Sunday, July 31, 2011

Everyone Needs Validation at One Time or Another

Validation is something that I believe we all strive for at some point in our lives. Whether it is consciously or subconsciously, everyone desires their work or actions to be validated by family, friends, or society.

For a child, validation can be seen in the smile on a parents face or heard in the clapping of hands for a job well done.

For a student, validation can be seen in the grade received on a test or by achieving the honor roll.

Once we reach adulthood, these acts of validation become harder to come by. Sure, as adults we receive a paycheck from our employers for a job we have done - but this is something we are told to do. Go to school, graduate, get a job, get paid, and be self-sufficient. This is what society expects of us.

The type of validation I am talking about is much greater. The kind of validation that I am not really expecting; let alone looking for at this point in my life. The validation from a father, who I do not have the best relationship with, and have not seen in years. The father who left when I was only two years old; the father I have subconsciously yearned to get some sort of praise from since I was a young child.

Last week I received not only praise and recognition, but validation on more than one level from this man. I am 41 years old and this man brought me to tears as I read his email. Tears of a little girl who loves her Daddy.

Yes, I am a good mother.

Yes, he is proud of his grandson.

Most important, he is proud of his daughter. The validation I have been longing for all my life came today. This man, my father, sees me for me and has validated all of the little things I do in a way that no other person has. Ironically, the person I thought didn't know me at all may be the one person who really does.

He gets it. He gets me. He understands my purpose, my writing, and what drives me to do the things I do. No matter how small your actions may be in this world, no matter how much support you receive or do not receive, always remember that somebody out there is watching you from the sidelines. Anticipating your next accomplishment and waiting to give you that validation that you so desire, but would never dream of asking for.

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