Thursday, February 12, 2015

Not Valid Unless Signed

I've been thinking a lot lately about the issue of validation; specifically my own problem with validation.

I am an attention seeker.

Let me rephrase; I am a validation seeker.

Actually, let me rephrase again; I, as a human being, am a validation seeker.

I'm not sure I've met a single person on this planet that wasn't seeking some sort of validation. I do it all the time subconsciously, thinking for some reason that I need somebody else's concurring opinion to validate my own. Now, there's nothing wrong with encouraging or agreeing with your fellow man; this isn't a blog post about being more agreeable.

This is more about the internal and personal struggle of whether or not we're worth anything, but not just that; rather, if we're worth anything to other people.

This is all sounding a bit vague, so let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.

Earlier today, I made a few mini covers of some of my favorite songs for a Facebook challenge I'm participating in, but rather than just post them and leave them and go back to my life, I found myself bundled up in a ball of pointless anxiety because nobody had 'liked' or commented on them after a few minutes, so I texted one of my closest friends and told her to listen to them, knowing that they were good and that she would tell me she liked them.

And then I sat down and asked myself:

"Why did I do that?"

Was it really necessary? I knew they were good, heck, I still know they're good. I didn't need anybody to tell me they were good, but somehow knowing that somebody else approved made me feel... better. I had the confidence, but I still sought validation.

And it was at about that point that I started subconsciously coming up with this blog post.

Why do we as humans constantly seek validation from other people? Why is it so hard to be happy with only our own opinion? Why do we require more than our own word for something?

To be honest, I don't have the full answer to that question.

But I can almost guarantee it has something to do with self worth.

In the Young Women's program at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the focus is on eight values, one of which is called 'individual worth'. When I was still in the Young Women's program, I always compared the phrase 'individual worth' to the word 'confidence', which I might be so bold to say is a mistake, and a mistake that many people make.

Confidence, to me, is kind of like Nike. When you have confidence, you just do it. You can just do things; you are confident that you can achieve something and so you do, but knowing your individual worth is something entirely different. Confidence is walking a one way street with a dead end; putting yourself out there. Knowing your worth is being solid where you are as the world moves around you; it's not a destination you can walk to, it's where you are and who you are and what, why, when; how you are (rap that, it sounds cooler).

I think of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." It doesn't say that the worth of confidence is great in the sight of God, but the worth of our very souls.

And that's all, in a perfect world, that matters. God, the being who created us, sees us to be of great worth. And I believe that it's not just that he sees us to be of great worth, but he made us to be of great worth. What we're made of is just pure, unadulterated worth; nobody can take that away from us, not even ourselves. Perhaps a more overwhelming thought that we should have besides if other people think we're worth anything is the thought that, no matter what we do, no matter how terrible of things we think we've done, there is nothing we can do to lose our worth as sons and daughters of God. He didn't create us and then ask all our friends to make sure they thought that we were worth something; He designed us to be worth something.

I went to the bank today to get a new debit card but before I could walk out with it I had to sign it.

I had to sign it, not my friends, not anybody else, but I, the cardholder, had to sign it in order for it to be valid.

You are the only person who needs to validate you. You're already worth something, you just need to realize it. Don't let other people try to determine your worth; it's been predetermined and I can guarantee that it's more than any of us could ever comprehend. "The worth of souls is great..." like, just terrific!

We are children of a king, each of us princes and princesses in our own right. Let's start acting like it. Let's all make a goal this week to seek validation from ourselves and to help others do the same.

I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much; more than we could ever imagine, and He believes each and every single one of us to be of great worth. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Okay, phew, I know that was really long and word vomit-y but hopefully something that I wrote made sense and I haven't lost my marbles entirely and gone off the deep end. As a side note to all this: I report to the MTC in Chile four weeks from *today. And I'm freaking out a (VERY LARGE AMOUNT) little bit.

*technically yesterday

but anyway

Until we meet again,
     Elizabeth Schomburg

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