Validity. What makes us who we are and how can we accept and adapt.

I have really been wrangling with this concept the last couple of weeks. I have long held a part of me separately to the parts I shared. It was always there, but only one other person in the world knew about it.

Rainbow at end of path

For everyone else it just didn’t feature. And now I have started to share that part with the world I am getting feedback.

Feedback is a normal part of the human condition, we all hold views, opinions and ideas and they are all very different. Life would be extremely boring if they weren’t.

However sometimes people confuse a conflicting view, opinion or belief with a unintentional Invalidation for who some one is.

So what’s the difference? Beliefs like religion, work ethic, family values whilst they often feel like a fundamental part of our being are a choice and so we if we don’t hold the same views as someone we can acknowledge that our choices are different.

Some things however, like disabilities, sexuality, IQ,EQ, gender identify, the number of toes we have are not beliefs or ideas, they are not something we choose. They just are and so when we say to someone we don’t recognise that part of them… that we don’t believe people can have six toes on one foot…we are invalidating them. We can make them feel unworthy, unwanted, or worse still less human.

These parts of ourselves are parts we don’t ask for or choose they just are a part of who we are. It can change in the same why IQ can change but it might always be the same and most importantly in that moment it is a part of the person.

It is so important to be accepting of the whole person. Yes you may not understand how or why they have a sixth toe, but you accept it. We are social animals who want to be part of a pack and without the social acceptance of our tribe well without it we are at risk of many things.

So next time you stand apart from a loved one and are about to reject a part of their being, ask yourself if this aspect of them is a belief something they can choose or a part of their being, something which just is. If it is the later show love and acceptance don’t try to convince them that part of them is not right, valid, possible. What is possible is your ability to adapt your knowledge of the world and the person you love.

So ways you can adapt…

  • Research yourself, learn about that aspect of the person
  • Speak to other people who also have six toes ask them what it is like
  • Share your thoughts kindly, gently and possibly with someone else not the person struggling to accept the part of themselves you don’t like
  • Be kind to yourself yes it can be confusing but you are capable of understanding

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