Friday, July 30, 2010


I have over 700 ‘sent’ emails that I sent to my ex-boyfriend during the time we were in a relationship stashed away in an electronic folder somewhere. At that time I thought if I communicated what I wanted, needed, liked, disliked, appreciated, respected, laughed about, was saddened by, had to offer, loved…he would eventually ‘get’ me. He would understand who I was and why I was such a catch. The responses were minimal, limited, fell short of what I was looking for. And yet, I did the same thing, over and over again, day after day. I was looking for validation and I did not receive it. In fact, I had been seeking validation for a very, very long time. So…validation – what is it and why do we need it?

Merriam-Webster says: validation is an act, process, or instance of validating.
Of course we all know that validation can be a very technical term and relate to very technical systems etc., but in this instance I am talking about emotional validation.

Validation: in psychology and human communication, the reciprocated communication of respect which signifies that the other's opinions are acknowledged, respected and heard (Wikipedia)

Merriam-Webster goes on to define validating as: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of. Oh…we’re back to that are we? Interesting…again I discover that I was seeking what I had already be given.

In my defense, I never felt validated by my father. He was a good man who loved me I’m sure, a devote Catholic who was controlling and at the same time needy…often jealous. But never jealous about not having enough time or closeness with me, but time with my brother and later my son – that is what he held in high regard. Those were the relationships he was most interested in, the people whose time he wanted and if I came in between him and them the result was an angry, jealous man.

And so I discovered over the last year or so that as an adult I have continually sought to be validated in my relationships. Again, as I studied and allowed myself the value that I deserve I began to feel worthy. That feeling of worthiness allowed me to book that cruise which is where I began to learn about my legitimacy. To me legitimacy relates to birth and John Sheasby's
The Birthright has been a Godsend (aren't they all?). I will finish up next time with how I think his book and study is the culmination of a few years of discovery and how it is shaping my future.

Now here's a question...why do I still have those emails in that folder?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I realize now

When I was in a bad relationship and under the bondage of fear that kept me from walking away, I was defining my worth through the way others viewed or treated me. I was treated like the pan on the back burner that gets burned because no one thinks about it. And so I came to feel that way about myself. I struggled and worried and over-compensated to try and make everyone else happy. The result was I let all of my boundaries down and everyone took advantage. My self-worth kept slipping downwards and although I was a believer, I didn't believe in myself. I didn't believe my inherent worth which comes from a much higher power.

Through the need for self-preservation I finally left that relationship, got into therapy and began bible studies with some awesome women who were going through different but equally damaging situations. Through our studies I began to think differently of myself as God revealed himself to me. We read The Shack and were shown the person of the Holy Spirit. We studied the Holy Spirit and began to feel that special connection. Difficulties in our congregation arose and we became closer and branched out on our own...starting a house church and continually seeking God's will for us.

So, the realization is that we can loose the earthly things we are given if we don't hold onto them...but, what the Father has given we can never loose. It is ours, our inheritance, our birthright, that has been freely given through grace and mercy. Our worth is immeasurable because we are heirs to the greatest Kingdom of all. No one can devalue us but if we devalue ourselves we are not walking in faith. What an awesome thought...I may not be perfect but I am perfectly made and all the riches of my Father are mine - if that's not reason to celebrate and love life, I don't know what is.

What I used to think

Do you remember being given something as a kid and told "hold on to it", "grab it"..."hold on or you'll loose it"? You can have something handed to you, but if you don't grab hold, hold it tight, it can slip through your fingers and be gone forever. Have you ever carried a small child or an animal and stopped holding on to them? Even the animal will scramble, dig its claws in...anything to keep from slipping and's a natural response to hold on.

Love can be like can be handed to you, yours for the taking....but if you don't hold on to it, clench it in your fist, it can slip through your fingers....fall out of your grasp. Maybe it will fall and break into a million pieces that can't be put together again. Maybe it will fall and a big chip will be taken out and it will never be the same, or maybe it will be like sand and it will slowly sift away until there is nothing left.

People can be like the small animal or the child, digging their claws in, desperately holding on so they're not dropped, so they don't fall into the nothingness.

But the bottom line is, if the one who has been given the item, the love, the child, does not choose to take hold, those things will eventually slip away and be lost.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stepping out of the box

I've had it in my heart for a while to take myself on a cruise. I've always wanted to go but never allowed myself the pleasure, never made the time for - me. An Alaskan Cruise was always a dream and I had wanted to go for my 50th birthday but I didn't give in last year. When 2010 came around I recommitted to looking for a cruise and was looking for a Christian Cruise as I had made a recommittment to the Lord after a downward slip following the break-up of a long term relationship. I happened upon the Michael W. Smith and Friends Alaskan Cruise with Max Lucado, Matthew West, Natalie Grant and others and knew it was the cruise for me.

I recently got back from this amazing cruise. It was my first cruise ever and I went all by myself. There was a time as recently as 2 years ago when I wouldn't eat in a restaurant by myself. I just didn't feel comfortable, felt judged, thought being alone was not okay. My kids were on the verge of leaving the nest and I was grasping at straws, in a relationship that I knew was not healthy and feeling inadequate in many ways.

And so, this solo first time cruise was a step of faith in many ways. Faith in God and faith in myself. I knew I was blessed to even be able to go on a cruise in such economic times and I prayed fervently for God to show me what He wanted me to see, to teach me what He wanted me to learn...and He did.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Where I'm going

I eased over that mid-life hill recently and feel renewed rather than aged. My faith has a lot to do with my outlook on life. My trials have brought me to a place of great reflection and to a realization that they have helped to produce in me - endurance, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and fortitude. The 'A' personality is slowly softening and the 'hot buttons' seem to have fading LEDs lately, but only because I'm allowing my creator to mold in me what He has had in mind all along. There is still much to do, to learn, to forgive, to mend but I have only to look to my heavenly father for all that I need to accomplish. In my quest to move forward I reflect and analyze what has transpired in the past.