Sunday, January 14, 2007

Good Essay on Validation

I was doing a search on the subject of self validation and stumbled upon a helpful essay by a psychology professor named F. Ishu Ishiyama. I found a few of the paragraphs to be very helpful in clarifying what my therapist was talking about with respect to spiritual problems.

As we go through personal developmental changes, our intimacy need is also changed from a sheer need for protection and approval to the need for being fully understood and connected emotionally and spiritually. When the people very close to us fail to meet such a higher need, we experience the lack of spiritual self-validation. Sometimes we exaggerate minor incidents through selective perception and self-critical reasoning into crisis situations, and fail to value our self-worth and competence.

Various psychological processes take place when we are in these situations. We feel denied access to the right to be and the right to feel at such moments. We feel as if a part in us is slowly dying in pain. We start doubting our self-worth, and losing confidence and self-respect. Our self-identity gets shaken, and we become unsure of who we are and what we are. We lose sight of the meaning of life and become hopeless and directionless.

Needless to say, these are sometimes so unbearable and threatening that we use defenses and shut off the painful feelings and self-awareness to protect our fragile and shaky ego from the final despair. However, we eventually need to face the self-invalidating situation or lifestyle and confront ourselves with the task of restoring inner harmony and seeking self-validating relationships and activities.

That sums up the content of this blog pretty well, doesn't it?

There's also a noteworthy snippet farther on down that echoes the work of Csikszentmihalyi:
In personal self-validation, we experience the joy of self-improvement and competence and the comfort of being in a familiar environment where we feel in control and at peace with ourselves. Such personal activities sometimes give us a timeless flow experience and a feeling of being one with nature. Through them, we validate our timeless and spiritual self.

It is exactly one month to my decision day, quite possibly the biggest test of self validation I have ever faced.
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