Acknowledging What Is

A few months back, I published this post about Validation and how much our children need to be validated by us. As I wrote in that post, Validation means: Finding the truth of something; authenticating something or someone; acknowledgment, recognition and acceptance of a person’s internal experience.

Just as our children desperately need our validation, so do WE desperately need our own validation. I need to know that I, De, see ME and that I notice what’s going on for me. I need to know that I see and acknowledge what is true for me in any given moment. All of it, the good, bad and the ugly!

I do myself harm if I am only willing to accept ME when I’m achieving, easy-going, productive, happy, etc. And by treating myself harshly, with criticism, judgment, or sarcasm, when I am needy, sad, unable, angry, etc.
It’s all a part of being human. Sometimes I’m happy and sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I’m capable and other times…hmmm, not so much. Our humanity is so…human. Which automatically means fallible and imperfect. Precisely as God created us to be.

Below is an interesting exercise to try out. The exercise will give you practice at noticing what’s going on for you in any given moment; notice what you’re feeling and needing. Notice, and then – resisting all desire to change, fix, squelch, judge, make it go away – acknowledge what is. Validate your experience by being there for yourself as you would a good friend.

Each day this week, give yourself the gift of validation.

  1. When you’re feeling frustrated, happy, disappointed, sad, etc., validate your experience. Tell yourself, “I see you, De [insert your own first name]. I see that you are ___________[insert feeling].”
  2. Resist all urge to fix anything. Whatever you are experiencing is true for you in that moment. Simply be there for yourself and offer your validation.
  3. Breathe. Relax your face and your shoulders. Place your hand on your heart and again acknowledge what is: “De, I see that you are having a difficult day. I’m here with you.”
  4. Ask yourself what you need now or what you need in this situation. Wait and listen for your answer. Acknowledge what you’ve heard (I hear that you need ________), and if possible, meet your own need. If what you need is not immediately possible, say a prayer for yourself and ask God to comfort you and take care of your needs.
  5. If you are inclined, keep a notebook nearby and write down what you were feeling and needing, how you validated yourself, and what (if anything) shifted for you.

Conversing with ourselves may feel a little strange. Remember, doing anything new or different will typically feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable at first. Keep going. Try it each day for at least a week. It is precisely this type of ‘befriending ourselves’ that can provide great comfort and a sense of calm as we journey along through life!

Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of human emotions and human relationships. Please increase our ability to simply BE with ourselves, at all times. Help us to be still with ourselves and with You, no matter what is happening in our external circumstances or our internal experience. Continue to guide us on our journey of self-love and self-compassion. May we see ourselves clearly, Lord. As You see us. We thank you for all the many ways that you bless us each day. We pray in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

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  1. What a great post! As women we all need this. It’s so helpful to me in both my internal and external worlds when I’m being a good friend to me. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

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