To be (validated) or not to be (validated)

Jun 18

To be (validated) or not to be (validated)

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about who I really am. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be “seen” as if I was afraid of being nobody if I weren’t seen in a big way by somebody. Many of the truly poor decisions of my life have been made as a result of my need to be recognized, affirmed, and validated.

My platform for most of my life has been the church – or some branch of the church – and I have lived a pretty “visible” life as a teacher, leader, mentor, facilitator, and musician. As I’ve been working through the results of my “religion-free” lifestyle, and letting go of all the “tasks” that involves, I’ve been coming to terms with this huge fear that if I’m not on stage leading/teaching something, not advising someone where they’re struggling, not creating something that will outlast me, I will disappear into the shadows of existence, and my life will have counted for nothing. Don’t get me wrong – I have a wonderful family that supports me, puts up with my foibles, and enables me to understand what it is to be loved, but there’s a deep, visceral need inside me to be validated by a much larger audience.

The crazy thing is that as I’ve released all those things that have always made me somebody – all the platform stuff, the leadership stuff, the helping hand stuff – no one’s really even noticed that I’ve left the room. With that knowledge, I must come to terms with the fact that all the striving, trying, struggling, driving, pushing and forcing that I’ve done have amounted to nothing. In the end, there’s just me and Jesus. The truly frightening thing about that, is that after 50 years in the church, I’m not even sure what that means. I have lived my whole faith-life as a ritual and duty, not as a relationship. 50 years of bad habits and wrong thinking is hard to overcome.

In the silence of my current obscurity I find my biggest battle is that constant attempt to validate myself. Finding ways to prove to myself that I am worthy, that I am important, that I do count. However, all the things I do to create that validation in my life are as ashes. The Bible does say that, but this is the first time in my life that there’s enough silence to hear it.

So here I am, me and Jesus, and there’s a lot of awkward silence in the room. I’m not quite sure how to start the conversation, so I think I’ll just sit here a while and see what happens.

Be A Star!
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