Yesterday we were, and today we are!
–Kahil Gibran, The Sons of Goddess and the Sons of the Monkeys
Time can be a terrible taskmaster if we allow it to be. Looking to the past is not always good and for some people, like me, it is not only terrifying but filled with opportunity. If I can get past the hurt and pain, no – not past it, but through it, then I can learn from it, heal from it and let it go.
I don’t have too many memories as a child; unfortunately I have blocked out the good with the bad. It would be nice to remember the good without dealing with the bad but that’s not the way my spiritual journey works. Being a fatalist I tend to think that if I unlock one good memory a whole cavalcade of bad ones will come tumbling out of the closet. But maybe that’s not the way it is. Maybe if I unlock a single bad memory then a lot of the good ones will surface. But I remain loathe to unlock the bad. It is this thing about the pain…
Anyway, I had a thought this morning about validation. I was wishing (and praying) that my little books I write and illustrate could get published to a larger audience – other than my immediate family. (I do publish them on a different blog but that is different than having an actual physical book in someone’s hands. I guess I’m old-fashioned. My sister says I should e-publish to readers through Amazon but I am still coming around to that idea. But I digress.)
Then I started thinking about it in a little more detail. Why do I need to see them published to the public at large? Isn’t writing them enough? I would write and illustrate even if I had no audience. It is a pure creative outlet for me, satisfies my need for artistic gratification both in writing and drawing. Somewhere, mixed up in my head, is a desperate need for validation.
My mom has always been my number one fan. She has always validated my creativity in whatever form it took. But I never received validation or support from my father. It doesn’t matter why. (Or does it?) He never validated anything or anyone other than what he did or he liked. So why does it matter to me so much?
Why is this such a stumbling block for me? Isn’t my mother’s love enough? Why did getting positive attention from a non-loving father mean so much to me?
I am sure there is some psychological reason for it. But I don’t care about the psychology. (Maybe I should.) I really want to know why this issue is such a stumbling block for me. In years past just knowing that I didn’t have the validation of my father quashed the creativity in me. And it has taken a long time and a lot of hard work to be able to be free creatively. And even after all that time, does he not sit inside my head, telling me I’m not good enough, I’ll never be good enough and being an artist is a job for losers. Oh – and you can’t make any money at it.
There has been too much of my valuable time wasted on wrestling with this particular dragon. I think I am willing to unlock the bad memory that is the root of validation desperation. If it is a single bad memory. Maybe it is more than one; maybe it is a whole childhood bad memories. Maybe I am not as willing as I thought.
God has given me a gift and it is up to me to use it to the best of my ability or it will wither and die. It is up to me as to whether I want to open the past up for a peek or keep the door firmly closed. My faith reminds me that whatever I decide – that whatever I decide – God will love me still, approve of me, support me and never leave me. If I decide to open the door to a difficult past time, I will hold onto that fact of faith, take a deep breath and walk through it. If I decide to.