Friday, August 8, 2014

Why Validation Ain't Such a Bad Thing

There's been a graphic going around the Internet, mainly by women's boutiques and adult females re-posting through social media. Here is it: 

Now, at first glance, some or most people would typically agree with this statement. We live in a culture that admires and celebrates independence and self-sufficiency, and in the midst of the feminist movement the past few decades, we celebrate these traits even more in women.

I can clearly see the pull toward this belief. Western culture has put the 'individual' on a pedestal for a long stretch of time. Look at any of our long-time heroes: John Wayne, Superman, and even Walter White (Breaking Bad fans, anyway?). It's filled in our music: Destiny's Child fans - "All the women who independent? Throw your hands up at me!", Ne-Yo's Miss Independent, and recently in Paramore's new single "Don't go crying to your mama 'cause you're on your own in the real world." We admire the individual instead of the team. Doing it on your own instead of asking for help. The person instead of the group... So it's easy to think that "not needing anyone else" makes us stronger, but I couldn't possibly disagree more.

It's my belief that we're never weaker than when all we depend on is ourselves. Over time (especially women), have decided that to need someone/depend on someone/rely on someone is a sign of weakness. We put up a wall that says, "I depend on me, and I don't need you." I think that's the message of this particular graphic, and it actually makes me sad. What a beautiful thing to have a relationship where there is connection, validation, support, and a secure bond. 

I understand why the wall gets put up; I'm assuming it's protection... from past hurts, future fears, and current insecurities about letting someone in who might let us down. I get it. But God didn't gift us with this life to live and move through it disconnected from the vulnerable and beautiful parts of others around us. It takes GREAT courage to receive or (oh my gosh) ask for validation. I think (and research shows) the strongest, most secure, and long-lasting relationships are the ones where partners are brave enough, vulnerable enough, strong enough to ask for validation and reassurance. What an amazing connection and enduring bond that brings for two people.

So in a way, I do agree with this graphic. The woman who doesn't require validation from anyone is the most feared woman on the planet; it definitely frightens me to think about having to live through life without the support, validation, and safety net of God, my husband, family, and friends. I definitely fear becoming that woman, and I hope that seeking validation and connection with others never becomes defined as a weakness for me personally. I think it's one of God's richest gifts to us and humanity's greatest strength and lifeline. 

So validation ain't such a bad thing after all...

im thankful.
carrie anne


Post a Comment