Heart Ki

Surround Yourself with Those Who Validate You


This makes all the difference.

A spiritual existence in a human body is, or can be sometimes, a lonely, isolated experience. Not to mention a difficult, challenging one. Even if you’re surrounded by others.

The same is especially true if you’ve decided to undergo a life or meaning to yourself, be it in healing/teaching service to others, in creative endeavours, or in any other way. If you do, it’s because you are spiritually sensitive. You are, or want to be, more in touch with yourself, with your own identity and unique expression.

You look at a beautiful painting. A flower. The sky and the clouds. You feel sad, or happy. You experience something which is meaningful to you.

And you express it: “What a beautiful painting“.

This is an expression of your sensitivity, your tastes. Of who you are inside. And you are ex-(outwards)-pressing it. If it reflects an inner sensitivity, you’re most likely expressing your open heart.

The person next to you may reply “Yes. Yes it is.” This is an answer of validation. Be it because the person genuinely feels the same that you do, and/or because he/she compassionately acknowledges what you feel, possibly reinforcing what you said, complementing it in some way.

If the person truly validates you, you feel it in your heart.

Now, it’s a very different case when the person you’re with, replies… well, anything else at all. Something like “Well, I don’t know… I like that one better“, or even maybe something a bit more harsh, in the lines of “No, not really, because {reason}“.

There are many forms of invalidation. It doesn’t always imply explicit, clear disagreement. The person might actually say “Yes“, “Yes, I like it“, but only to please you, or to get something in return. In which case the energy of deceit, or misalignment, will be there anyway. Also, each culture and society has its own sounds and body language that indicates a disagreeing, disdainful, or even ridiculing reaction. Answers don’t need words.

Regardless of the subtlety of the response of the one, or the ones, around you, the way others mirror your expression is either of validation, or invalidation (or neutrality/nullifying, which means for example not answering anything at all, or not considering your expression. Maybe an extreme form of invalidation, if you will).

Your identity does not come from the outside. However, you’ll be making your life a whole lot harder if you let yourself be surrounded by those you don’t, or can’t, mirror who you truly are. In an extreme case, if you allow, or tolerate, most everyone around you to be ones who don’t reflect your Self, over time you’re ever more likely to start forgetting who you are, and second-guess yourself more often. Maybe a life lesson for some, maybe an opportunity for growth for others. Still, it applies.

In this sense, you always have a tendency to be, or be influenced, by what you look at.

A response that validates reinforces the Soul. It is a mirror of It. A response that invalidates does the opposite: it withers it. The degree by which it does, of course, depends on your self-esteem, your strength, your personal power, your sense of identity. Someone disagreeing on you on your taste of paintings, or your general tastes, of course, won’t alone kill your sense of Self. Being in touch with the different and the varied is at the basis of all experience and learning.

However, like the Portuguese saying goes, you’re not made of iron.

A child who grows consistently receiving negative, disempowering feedback the likes of “Nonsense“, “Don’t be stupid“, or “You’re wasting my patience” will grow and evolve in a weakened emotional inner state, like the flower who is given little water yet an abundance of pesticide.

It is indeed a widespread epidemic, nurtured by a lifeless society that keeps everyone struggling and competing amongst one another to earn their jobs and their sustenance, their own share of water. And leaves little time, patience, and energy, to simple love and compassion.

It’s not mandatory that you receive everyone’s expressions with a mellow, tolerant, and compassionate reaction – at least not to the point that you stop expressing your own uniqueness. Furthermore, dealing with others sometimes might call for tough, rather than compassionate, love.

Nevertheless, don’t neglect the energy of love itself. Towards others, and towards yourself. Without love and compassion, everything becomes a sea of rights and wrongs, a multitude of things that are correct and others which are flawed. Some paintings are better than others, and flowers compete for water because there isn’t enough to go around.

With love, all of those dissolve away.

And one way of giving yourself water, love, is to make sure that when you find someone who truly sees you, someone that, without inflating your ego, brings about your self feelings of validation, empowerment, patience, love, and compassion, that says “Yes” instead of “No”, then it is in your best interest to keep that someone around. And to nurture them. And in turn they will nurture you.

Being surrounded by others who see the good in you, and reinforce the parts of you that you wish to reinforce in your spiritual Essence, is of the utmost importance. In extreme cases, it makes all the difference. It’s the difference between knowing thyself, and losing yourself.

This is not a calling for you to discard those who you don’t like or that bring about pain to you, simply because I wouldn’t know what your life lessons and spiritual intent are.

Nevertheless, you’ll find some people truly see you. While others don’t.

You are bound to find low points in life, in whatever you do. Moments of pain, challenge, or self-doubt. These are junction points. It is at these points that validation and reassurance is crucial.

You need the ones who can point out your strengths, shed a little light in that dark place, and reassure you. You need the ones who can tell you that what you’re experiencing is natural. That making mistakes is OK. You need to be reminded of your genuine good bits and pieced sometimes. And to take your load and make it lighter.

I found out that a little light is often far more valuable that finding a solution, dissecting a situation, or bolster an ego.

People sometimes say that family is the most important to them. That it’s their backbone, their basis, their support. And this is about finding your family throughout life, and nurturing them as you find them, as long as they are present. For they are the most precious thing.

This is an act of love towards others, but also towards yourself. You’re keeping around you, in your reality, and in your energy field, positive and nurturing energy, which reflects your true Self back to you. You are choosing your own energy to yourself, rather than something else. And as you seek it, and treasure it, more and more will come to you.

When you surround yourself by others, and circumstances, in your external world, which align with your Essence, you are in reality finding, choosing, and integrating your own Essence in your life. When you do the opposite, when you tolerate external energies which do not align with you, you are tolerating in your energy things that are for all purposes false, in relation to it.

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