Obviously I don’t believe in Satan as a single concept. There are lots of unimaginably nasty things out there in the ether. Satan is probably relatively tame in comparison.
But validation; the need for someone else to approve something before you yourself are prepared to think positively about it, is truly the Devil.
Validation trips you up, turns your emotions around with the flick of a tail, and generally makes you behave as if nothing is ever any good because getting people’s approval can be a hard task.
When someone gives an opinion, they are usually trying to be helpful, and if it’s constructive, that’s great. Doesn’t matter if it’s a job, a romantic situation, a reported conversation … whatever. You might not have known that you screwed up. You would miss out on a lot if you never listened to what people think.
Validation isn’t linked to your real value
The trick is not letting what they think change what you think just because they think it.
Sure, give it some thought, change your mind if you wish, but it’s important not to value your talents, looks, style, and economic worth based on what other people think.
Instead, decide how you feel about it from the get-go, and then present it for opinion if you want.
If you think you look amazing when you leave the house wearing hot pink and tango, you probably do. If your drawing is passionate and clear and you can tell what the pictures are, who cares if the shadows are sometimes mysteriously in the wrong place? Why does it even matter?
Nobody has the right to stop the world and make you get off.
If you can retain the power to do what you want to do, be yourself at all times, and be mindful with it, then you’re all-powerful over your own life, and other people’s opinions of you are immaterial.
When you give other people power to decide over how you feel about yourself and your life, you give away your wind (remember Phoebe in Friends?).
Take that power back
Taking back that power isn’t a violent act. It’s a peaceful and mindful place to be in.
You end up reflecting on conversations, questioning whether or not you handled it in a way that was best for you.
You end up feeling calm a lot of the time.
I like calm.
So again, it’s another plea, to anyone out there who has bashed their head against the overhanging ceiling of opinion and spent their concussion letting those opinions inform them about how valuable they are as people, let it go. Let. It. Go.
Breathe in the freedom. Your worth is based on you, not on what someone else thinks. Who cares what ‘they’ think?
Image c/o opinion.berkeley.edu