Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#278: Reassurance

Much of my motivation in life has come from the search for reassurance. From anyone: parents, other people's parents, men, friends, teachers, random people I met on trips, men. I joined things to get reassurance I had friends. At work I would constantly need validation from bosses and coworkers. Thank God Facebook wasn't around back then, because I would have constantly posted stuff about myself seeking validation from all my "friends".

I got into relationships with men who were willing to give me that constant string of validation I required [these never lasted], and my insatiable need for reassurance led me to behaviors that I went against my inner moral fiber. I was powerless against the fulfillment I felt when someone else would assure me that I was good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, funny enough, hard working enough, whatever enough!

And then all of my reassur-ers have departed for one reason or another and I have been left with only myself. At first it was excruciatingly painful to be alone, with only myself as cheerleader and validator. Sometime while I was in Ireland, however, something inside of me healed up. I became my own validator. I have learned that only my opinion of me counts in my life. If everyone around me can see all the wonderful things about me, and share those with me, it does absolutely no good if I don't see them myself.

It seems I was playing God in a way. I was so busy seeking reassurance for myself that there was no space for God to provide me with any help. I now find that when I live through those periods that are sort of painful for lack of external reassurance, invariably the next phone call or interaction provides me with just the right amount of validation I had been chasing all along. Today, for example, I went on a hike with a lovely woman I haven't seen in a long time. Turns out we have very similar world views and she told me great stories of faith spoke exactly to what's been going on with me lately.

I am so grateful for the faith that I am doing just fine, exactly as I am. In my own life. And that the craving for external validation is being replaced with peace and contentment inside myself.

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