Stamp of approval

Some mornings I wake up and there is seriously not a thought in my head, other than coffee. Lots of coffee. Which is kind of funny these days as I have transitioned slowly over to mostly decaf due to caffeine causing some anxiousness during the day.

But this morning, I woke up feeling like I should write about validation. I really wanted to shoot a picture for this blog entry showing me stamping something, like a passport or maybe my old notary stamp, but I don’t have the tools to stage something like that. Thus, we’ll stick to the natural realm and I’ll keep posting lovely local pictures that we have taken around the area with our phones.

In dysfunction, I found validation to be a big issue. In recovery, it continues to be a challenge. I work at addressing my validation issues through remembering that because I am no better or worse than anyone else, I don’t need anyone else’s permission to exist. I can seek feedback and input and it is wise to do so. However, I need to stop short of seeking approval. The only approval and validation that will truly fill the gaping, jagged hole in my soul is the God-given one that I possess. It is a gift I must give to myself, over and over again, rinse and repeat, as often as necessary.

My position is that I am created by God to do good works. Fair enough. But my heart longs for others to pat my back and smile approvingly. This is where the process has to be interrupted. Because everyone else is just as broken, albeit in different ways, as I am. We all inhabit the same broken world, and it’s not all about me and my need to bolster my ego and for others approval. If I hang my self-esteem on this process, I am positively assured to become disillusioned, bitter, angry and withdrawn. So instead, I work at seeking ways to improve myself for the betterment of my own life and those around me. This is the opposite of running from person to person, looking for crumbs of approval, affection and the like. I have been there, and have never felt so lonely and desperate.

In the process of self-examination, I ask myself some questions. Is what I’m doing helpful for keeping me on track with my recovery and does it honor God, myself and others? Awesome! I will affirm that I am doing a great job and staying on track. Am I struggling? Do I feel defeated or underwater by the trials of this life? I remind myself that I have people to reach out to and be vulnerable with, who can speak truth and love into my life to help me get back on track so I can fill up and be a blessing and of service again. It is the circle of recovery. Today, I am grateful for the tools of recovery, and for people who will tell me the truth, even when it is not what I want to hear, sometimes it is what I need to hear.

Well, I have much to do before heading out of town next week for several days. I will try to post while on the road, but no promises as internet connections can be spotty. Have a great Friday!

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