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  • Michaela Patel


the importance of self-validation

The truth is just like a mirror: the cleaner it is, the better our view providing we put an effort into making it streak free. Realising that we are the pivotal part of our life, that all our actions and reactions to external circumstances are simply a reflection of how we perceive ourselves, we get that there really isn't a more important reflection for examination...

When we hold an untrue image of ourselves we are likely to distort the images of others too.

The streaks in our own reflection readily distort who we truly are into who we think we are, into who we have been told that we should be and into who we think we could never be. We then follow that 'truth' on our search for love and (surprise surprise!) meet with pain. Toxic friendships, incompatible partnerships, abusive exchanges with our loved ones, life warps into a struggle because our deformation 'doesn't deserve better'.

When we cannot see our own beauty (the love inside of ourselves we have been born with), we cannot see the beauty of life. When our priorities get set wrong, price becomes more important to us than value, we focus on external image instead of on internal delight, and fuss about showing off as supposed to about how we honestly feel. The lack of our authentic desires manifests in all the clutter, the space in our minds and homes constricts and so does our freedom...

Happiness, love and freedom, to experience life as it was intended for us at birth is reseved for those who practice self-reflection. What do they polish their mirror with?

Self-reflection (a process of catching ourselves when pain strikes) together with making adjustments to how we perceive external reality (a process of choosing with awareness what experiences we like to keep in the future by learning from our past) are extremely important. By no means easy, they are the practical steps which can be mastered over time. Our mirrors aren't always shiny even though we like to assume and eagerly project so. The energy we spend on polishing our image sqeeky clean needs to be diverted to noticing our blind spots: the deceit of our own mind about how we are truly being and feeling. The time spent on asking the opinions of others on how we did needs to be spent in solitude, having an honest conversation about how we feel about ourselves and if what we did was truly how we intended it to pan out. Because it is never by chance that we are feeling miserable and no amount of finger pointing will resolve our internal un-ease. Those feelings are simply a reflection of what and how we think about things. Our Ego-mind, the greatest 'bullshit generator', is fuelled by our unawareness. Gaining awareness of its limitations and malfunctioning, how it creates repetitive and negative thoughts whilst washing our brain with certain chemicals, causing us to feel the way we do, is the key to ever feeling an ounce of inner peace. We can either dedicate our time and energy to practicing slowing down to notice certain internal realities, or we can keep the noise up and learn nothing.

Starting is always harder untill we have developed some muscles to cope with change. Knowing that we are bound to feel uncomfortable the least, accepting that there is no gain without certain level of pain, is paradoxically the innitial step towards happiness. On the other hand, if we practice running away from truth, running away is what we will master...

The amount of distortion we fall for depends on our own sense of security. How secure we are depends on how truthfully we view, how much we love and admire, ourselves.

When we hold an unrealistic view of ourselves, we tend to hold an unrealistic view of others, therefore have either much higher (or much lower) expectations of others, relative to our own. Running into people with unreaslistically high expectations, or double standards, is like running into a solid wall. You will get hurt. Badly. The higher gain and the true purpose of our pain is to learn that our own expectations are below average because of our low self-esteem. Our self-worth is the image, our shape, we see in the mirror. We either love it, or we don't. When we cannot love it for the amount of dirt covering our mirror we seek a clearer reflection in others. Through the way our partners and friends act towards us we deem ourselves loveable, or not...

How many people in your life are held hostage of your thoughts about themselves because of their soiled mirror? How many people's opinions of you hold you locked in fear of becoming who you always desired to be?

We all want to be loved and admired - validated. Admiration for ourselves comes from gratitude for the person that we have become.

But we cannot be truly grateful unless we come to work with integrity. Practicing self-reflection allows us to honestly oversee how we have been in order to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes and love ourselves with all our flaws (wherever we are on our journey!) whilst committed to a constant look out for our blind spots. Finding ourselves resting in the present moment helps us to notice how we truly are, but also has a calming effect on our psyche. Being able to (mostly) conquer the demon of our ideal [the yard stick we used to abuse ourselves with], we no longer tolerate abuse from others and don't hesitate to set our boundaries with them in a (mostly) respectful way. Becoming OK about falling into our old habits, we come to learn that some lessons aren't yet complete. By transforming tragedy into comedy, our humourous self-discoveries help to lighten these otherwise most frustrating life lessons, turning them most memorable. In the process of cleaning our own mess we get that others will clean theirs when they are ready, or never, and that we are by no means responsible for it. What used to haunt us is not haunting us anymore, but what we are keen on is absolute honesty even if it momentarily hurts. Long term it is absolutely worth it because we are worth it!

Everybody has a different emotional pain threshold (their level of unawareness) due to a different 'inherited' coping strategy (family, societal, cultural conditioning). Our life and the way we deal with it is not given but learned. For that we have to first learn about, and understand, ourselves - to love and validate ourselves, or be forever at the mercy of others and their cloudy mirrors...

Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.

Copyright © 2021 Michaela Patel


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