Something I’ve been focusing on lately is really allowing myself to feel and becoming my own source of validation for those feelings. Too often I have found myself looking outwards for validation that my feelings both matter and are warranted in a situation.
Don’t get me wrong, feeling validated is important. Everyone likes to feel like they are being heard and seen but when validation becomes something you need to justify your feelings, that is when seeking validation can become problematic.
In my post on Tiny Buddha, I talked about coming to the realization that I am a people pleaser. One of the ways I’ve seen this play out in my relationships is through the discounting of my own feelings. Whenever I’ve felt a strong reaction or emotion to a situation in one of my relationships, I’ve talked myself out of these feelings. I’ve lessened the importance of these feelings. I’ve dampened them and, on most occasions, neglected to even mention how I’ve truly felt. But during my journey into true self-love this year, I’ve seen just how damaging this can be.
Just recently I was in a situation where I felt very angry and hurt. I hadn’t felt this way in quite some time, and immediately I found myself questioning what I was feeling. Should I be mad? Was the reasoning behind my anger valid? Does it even matter that I am upset? I went into this questioning without even allowing myself to simply feel this feeling, without even allowing myself to acknowledge my anger. I went to friends and asked them if I should be mad. I went to my husband and asked him if I should be mad. I went to my sister… and the list goes on, I went searching for permission to feel what I was feeling.
I want to say this is the first time I’ve ever done this, that this is the first time I’ve looked outward for permission to feel what I am feeling, that this is the first time I’ve tried to talk myself out of feeling an emotion altogether, but it’s not. But it was the first time I questioned whether this was healthy for me.
Was talking myself out of feeling something a good thing for me?
Was pretending I wasn’t hurt by something doing me any good?Was allowing the emotions of others to be more important to me than my own serving me?
Was discounting how I felt about a situation an act of the self-love I was actively trying to grow?
Obviously, the answer to all of those questions is no.
I am finally starting to realize it doesn’t matter if so and so thought I should be upset. It doesn’t matter if this person or that person thought what I was feeling was warranted or not. It doesn’t matter if she/he thought I was over or under reacting. All that mattered was how I felt and what those feelings meant to me.
One of the biggest lessons of self-love for me has been to honor my own feelings. Doing this has allowed me to feel so much more connected to myself and surprisingly, powerful. There is something about identifying what you are feeling, acknowledging it and being your own source of validation. I know in doing this I will be able to create healthier relationships, set better emotional boundaries and just feel a little happier overall (because suppressing emotions takes its toll).
If you ever find yourself talking yourself out of an emotion or being talked out of an emotion just remember the below. Sending love and light wherever you are.