Validation - Not Just For Parking
How many times have you sworn that you don’t need anybody to validate you? None? Oh, the lies you tell. OK, maybe not you, but as for me, I won’t tell that lie. I think we all want validation.
Think about it this way. If you’re a parent, how many times have you “reminded” your child or children about the many times that you’ve given them the many things that you’ve given them and the many places that you’ve taken them when you could have been many other places doing many other things! But NO, you’re taking their ungrateful behinds where they need or want to be. Still just me?
Let me tell you about my own children. They needed to be someplace; a different place than the other one who needed to be at their place at the same time, with equal or greater importance. So, do you know what happened? IT happened! They got where they needed to be. Was I happy to do it? Not always. Did I have help doing it? Not most of the time. Was I exhausted from doing it? Of, course. Did I play the “you are ungrateful” card? You better know it!
The fact is, they weren’t ungrateful. They were doing normal kid stuff. Normal teenage stuff. Even normal adult stuff. And, in all my pissing and moaning about having to do all of this for them, the reality is I chose to do the things for them that helped them to have productive lives. And as a parent, you must house, clothe, feed and encourage their education; everything else you opt in to do is just that, optional. Well, maybe not everything, but you did opt in, so why are you razzing them? Why should they be made to feel badly about growing up and experiencing life? Keep it real and think back to your own childhood, these same things were probably done for you. And then you went off and did the ultimate ungrateful infraction of all. Let's talk about how to make a mother mad; call your friends’ mom mom. Tell her how wonderful she is and how much you love and appreciate her. Follow her advice that happens to be the same advice your own mother gave you. Oh, hunty, your mother is steamed; but you’re not going to know it until she’s mad about something totally unrelated, then she’ll tell you everything that you need to acknowledge her for! Moving right along ...
The same thing applies to your significant other. You do all these wonderful things for them because you feel that they are so deserving of them (at the time). Then comes their one infraction, and you wish you hadn’t done anything for them, ever. They don’t appreciate anything. They are so ungrateful. They suck.
Take a moment to remind yourself why you did the thing for them in the first place. It’s not them, it’s you! My parents were two of the few people that I can never recall ever flipping the script on their gifts or acts of servitude. Either they did something for you or they didn’t; so, where I learned that behavior is beyond me. I think we just need to be needed. What my parents taught me with this (even though I didn’t truly grasp it until I became GiGi) is that the sacrifices of parenthood should be your reasonable duty.
Whether you wanted children or not, you have them, now do what is necessary to raise whole humans. One of two scenarios are in play here: you had these opportunities as a child or you wanted them. Either way, carry the torch and pass it down. The fire will stay lit or somebody gets burned. The reality is that what we need to do is learn to do, give and love without condition. I’m not saying that will be easy, but I promise that it will be worth it – if not to you, then to those you love. Learn self-validation and you will not only not need someone to need you, but you will truly learn to appreciate self-gratification. You will lose the selfishness and become selfless. You will become somebody’s hero. You will give someone the opportunity to give you the love, thanks and appreciation that you feel you deserve rather than extracting it from the depths of their beings. Trust me, it will mean more to both of you when the giver stops playing tug of war with their giving.
You really are as valid as you believe you are, no cosigning necessary. Go on with ya bad self!