The way a person treats us doesn't determine our value. So don't go picking yourself apart. --Treka L. House
I am often listening to people, and I try to listen for the deeper parts of them, even in the simplest conversations. Sometimes it’s what people tend not to say, in conjunction with what they are saying, that puts the pieces to the puzzle together. Let me give you an example of what I mean. I was holding a general conversation with this woman, and she began to talk about herself. It was okay, people do it all the time and I don’t mind because I like to listen in hopes of seeing the bigger picture. She was speaking about getting a divorce for the second time from a military service member. No judging here, things happen. But it was the things that she said next that made me go “hmmmm”. She went on and on about how being separated from her husband has allowed her to live a glamorous lifestyle. I was all ears, but not for the same reason someone else might have been. I wanted to see the deeper person behind this woman who seemed to be living life right now. She spoke of how separation afforded her more freedom and how she never wanted to give it up. That statement was fine, she’s human and each person knows what they can take. But she went on a little further, while other people in the room pretended not to listen to our conversation; well her conversation as I nodded or said a few words to let her know that she had my attention. She began talking about how she has now discovered expensive dinners, flowers and shopping sprees. She went on to talk about her now owning a yacht, and being mentored by well-known or famous people. She went so far as to show me pictures on her Instagram of famous people she was in pictures with, luxurious houses she was fortunate enough to be invited to and bragged about how she didn’t have to work. I asked if she had any children and she stumbled over her words saying, “She’s a teenager and she’s out already.” I didn’t quite understand what she was saying, but I knew that she was only interested in herself, as I saw no pictures of anyone on her Instagram page but of herself as she scrolled through. As a mother I was disappointed, but as a human I reminded myself that I didn’t know her and that I had no right to judge her.
Now she was on a mission to tell me all of her business, and someone else would have been impressed, which she wanted me to be, but I wasn’t. Things don’t impress me, hanging out with celebrities doesn’t impress; but character does. And out of all the things she said, I gathered that she was a lost soul looking for validation in what and who she deemed important. That made me sad for her. It made me sad because it seemed that she didn’t think enough of the person she was born to be, to be happy. She was surviving off of validation, as a matter of fact, she was chasing it; something every human does in one way or another. I know some of you will say that you don’t, but I challenge you to sit back and really examine yourself. Either you’re looking for validation in your peers, partner, parents, children, social media, academic success, careers, etc. Don’t get me wrong, we all want to be validated. I honestly feel like we need it as a form of motivation, but it’s the amount needed and what will be done to get it, which makes it scary. I’ve had to teach myself the importance of self-validation. I wish that lady and every other human being knew the importance of giving self something that no one has the power to give and take. Those celebrities can decide not to deal with her, her things can be confiscated and the attention she receives from people can be snatched in an instant. If we base how we feel about ourselves based on someone else feels about us or the material things we have in our possession, then we’ll never really love who we are. Nothing is guaranteed, but self-love is more of a sure thing, if built properly, than the love of someone else or something. We are all chasing validation……but we should be chasing who we are and the purpose we are meant to serve; then validation will come. You alone are good enough.