The Gift of Validation

I hear everyone screaming “validate me!”

It is such a strong need. My kids come show me what they have done. I go to my support system so they can hear me out. We’re all posting on social media for likes and comments. We all need an echo chamber, something that can send back what we’re broadcasting. Apparently that’s how we feel connected, that’s how we feel alive. Even the most extreme introverts still need this.

Black Lives Matter is screaming “hear us, and learn what it’s like!” Before that there was the #MeToo movement. I am wondering if COVID is trying to tell us something. At the very least, I fear it is exposing those who are challenged for empathy.  US is a big country, I get that in some parts it may feel like trouble brewing in other parts of the world. But it makes me mad when I hear about people who choke it up to some kind of conspiracy theory or media making it out to be more than it is. There are real people struggling, having to be isolated and disconnected from loved ones.

But I digress. I am a minority in many different ways, so the gift of validation is unfortunately scarce. I feel lighter, though, having realized this and let go of the expectation that I want people to understand and validate me wholly. To begin with, I have so much stuffed in my head that it’ll take days and weeks to unload them on somebody. No one has that kind of time.

That’s why I am so grateful to be able to turn to music. Songs can reach me where I am. Songs can connect to the parts inside that have a hard time finding company elsewhere. A lot of them are made by creative, sensitive people like me. I don’t need to spill my secrets or carefully phrase things not to offend anyone. Music tells me that all my feelings are valid, that I am alive and connected. I offer my songs and stories so you can connect to it and feel validated. I get refueled from my sources, so I can offer things, create pieces, be present to validate you.