What is the Self? Part 4: Validation/Invalidation

1707491_origValidation/invalidation

How many times has it happened that you were looking to others to know what you feel? To know what to think? To know how to react?

The laugh-track machines are used exactly for that reason: people who have no sense of self, they will take cue, and laugh when the machine laughs.

Because we never really got present to who we are, what we hold true, what is important to us, because we were indoctrinated early on to think, feel, hold true, and say yes to what other people wanted us to, and because the reward was attention, food, hugs, atta' girl, or nice gifts, we lost and dug under our natural likes and dislikes, our natural aspirations, our real feelings.

We toed the line 1 of "me-too's" and mimicked, parroted, and tried to feel what they felt.

Love, gratitude, loyalty, integrity, all the intrinsic values fell victim to that. This is why it took me years to dig deep enough in the soil piled up on the top of the self, to distinguish for myself at least a few of those intrinsic values. And when I say years, I mean long years, doing it with the dogged diligence and persistence that is my "trademark."

DSCN3423It is a huge price to pay for popularity, if you are popular, for a livelihood, if you manage to earn it, for companionship, if you have any, to give up being you, give up knowing what you like, what you don't like, what you feel, and what's your opinion to things.

I don't mean your petty likes and dislikes, like "I like ice-cream" but "I hate loudmouths"

These are the top of the top of the iceberg, and irrelevant. The quality of your life isn't effected by any of it.

On the other hand, if you are like most people on Facebook, you don't know what love is, would not recognize it if you tripped over it, never experienced it, never have seen it, but you put, post after inane post, that the world is run by love... or "all you need is love..."

You are an impoverished, emotionally dead person, your soul is the breeding ground of weeds and creepie-crawlies... and you insist on infecting more people, or at least show them your ugliness masquerading as beauty of soul.

I love movies. I have always loved them, for me they are an extension of my life, a way to feel more, live more, love more, grieve more... celebrate more of being alive and feeling a human being.

The other day, one of my students, shared with me how much she enjoyed the movie: Intouchables, a French movie. I promptly watched it, and then reported back to her that I hated the movie.

I felt how much it invalidated her, how much it made her uncertain in her own judgment: she never shared anything else with me after that.

Now, whether I felt bad about how it landed over there, or because there was good in the movie, this movie has come up in my thoughts quite often since then.

What I really want to express here is not my regret, but my recognition of the second-hander who is always uncertain of their own view of life, of their own power, of their own feelings.

She has given so much power of that "invalidation by a revered teacher" that she has been second-guessing herself ever since, and even lost her ability to connect to Source.

She is you. Or as they say: by the grace of god, there go I...

When you feel something, it is always valid. True, accurate, appropriate don't equate valid.

Everything about you is valid, because invalid doesn't exist in the Universe. What exists exists, and by the power of that, it is also valid.

I didn't say accurate. I didn't say appropriate. I didn't say astute. I said valid.

You are valid. Your feelings are valid, Your thoughts are valid.

The question is not whether they are valid or not. The question is: are you more yourself, happier, fuller of life because of them? That is a great question.

Your best bet is move towards more life. Fuller life. A wider range of experiences and feelings. More surprises, less predictability. More mistakes, less predictably dull.

That's a life befitting a human.

caged-animalInterestingly, when we look at wildlife, we seem to know that a lion or a tiger can't be fully themselves in a circus or in a cage. But when it is about us, or about our child (gasp!) we insist on the cage, we insist of propriety, on chains, on restrictions, on everything that turns us and our children into unhappy caged animals.

How is it going for you?

Footnotes

  1. Verb 1. toe the line - do what is expected
    abide by, comply, follow - act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes; "He complied with my instructions"; "You must comply or else!"; "Follow these simple rules"; "abide by the rules"

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

2 thoughts on “What is the Self? Part 4: Validation/Invalidation”

  1. Freeing one from that cage is an amazing feeling. I find myself freeing me for a few days , but always feeling the comfort of knowing that cage is there. I guess I only allow myself calculated freedom, knowing that I have something to fall back on… which is why i never quite make it … I always have that backup cage.

  2. Yes, my love. Commitment means burning the bridges. Just like Julius Caesar at the Rubicon, or the burning of the ships of some commander, forgot who, to create a point of no return. Your wishy-washy level of commitment produces a wishy-washy, so-so, crappy life. Enjoy your cage.

    Related expressions

    There are a number of phrases with similar or related meaning:

    “Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.” This statement appears in Betrachtungen über Sünde, Leid, Hoffnung und den wahren Weg (“Reflections on Sin, Suffering, Hope and the True Way”) by Franz Kafka.

    “Crossing the Rubicon” is a metaphor for deliberately proceeding past a point of no return. The phrase originates with Julius Caesar’s seizure of power in the Roman Republic in 49 BC. Roman generals were strictly forbidden to bring their troops into the home territory of the Republic in Italy. On 10 January, Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River, crossing from the province of Cisalpine Gaul into Italy. After this, if he did not triumph, he would be executed. Therefore the term “the Rubicon” is used as a synonym to the “point of no return”.

    “Alea iacta est” (“The die is cast”), which is reportedly what Caesar said at the crossing of the Rubicon. This metaphor comes from gambling with dice: once the die or dice have been thrown, all bets are irrevocable, even before the dice have come to rest.

    The following expressions also express the idea of a point of no return.

    Burn one’s bridges This expression is derived from the idea of burning down a bridge after crossing it during a military campaign, leaving no choice but to continue the march. Figuratively, it means to commit oneself to a particular course of action by making an alternative course impossible. It is most often used in reference to deliberately alienating persons or institutions whose cooperation is required for some action. For instance, “On my last day at my old job, I told my boss what I really think about the company. I guess I burned my bridges.”

    Burn one’s boats. This is a variation of “burning one’s bridges”, and alludes to certain famous incidents where a commander, having landed in a hostile country, ordered his men to destroy their ships, so that they would have to conquer the country or be killed.
    One such incident was in 711 AD, when Muslim forces invaded the Iberian Peninsula. The commander, Tariq ibn Ziyad, ordered his ships to be burned.
    Another such incident was in 1519 AD, during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Hernán Cortés, the Spanish commander, scuttled his ships, so that his men would have to conquer or die.
    A third such incident occurred after the Bounty mutineers reached Pitcairn Island.

    “Break the kettles and sink the boats (????)”. This is an ancient Chinese saying, which refers to Xiang Yu’s order at the Battle of Julu (207 BC); by fording a river and destroying all means of re-crossing it, he committed his army to a struggle to the end with the Qin and eventually achieved victory.

    Fait accompli (“accomplished deed”, from the verb “faire”, to do), a term of French origin denoting an irreversible deed, a done deal.

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