Speaking Words of Love and Validation
My 9 year old teacher
I spent time with a nine year old this evening. What a joy!
This young person and I are good friends.
We care about and respect each other very much.
She has an amazing energy about her.
When I interact with her I can see
how deeply she feels things.
She is a very loving young person
with a bright smile and a joyous laugh.
My friend the Firecracker
She is also very high energy.
It is rare that she is not jumping up on something
or running across the room.
I love how wild and fun her energy is.
Her dad is an awesome guy
I also love the fact that
her dad never discourages her from expressing herself
unless she’s about to be a danger to herself or someone else.
They have a very lovely relationship.
It’s always a pleasure for me to
witness the two of them together.
When our time together was over and she was getting ready to leave
she became a little sad because it might be
a month before we see each other again.
Speaking Words of Love and Validation
She came over to me feeling a little down,
I put my arms around her and held her close.
I started to speak loving words to her.
“I know life can be hard and you are
going through a difficult time right now.
I am sorry for that my dear.
At the same time I know you are
a very powerful person.
You have a deep and loving heart,
you have an incredibly intelligent mind and
you have a wonderfully creative and capable body.
I know how strong you are my dear
and I know that you’re going to be ok.
I think you are a wonderful and amazing young girl
and I love you very much.”
Soaking it up like a sponge
As I was speaking this to her
she just melted into me.
She became very still and was
focused on taking it all in.
There was a group of people around and
all of them became still as well.
I think we could all feel how deeply the love and validation
was going into her and how important it was.
I myself was deeply affected by that moment
Partly because it is always an honour
to be able to give love to somebody in need.
We all have a desire for this kind of love and validation
Also because it has made me think about
the deep desire in each of us
to receive that kind of love, admiration and validation.
I have been feeling into my own self about this.
I can feel the empty space inside of me
that wants to be filled with recognition of who I am.
I know that even though my mother did her best
to make me believe in myself
she was working against a great amount of opposition.
You’re just not good enough Vivek
I can still feel the wounds inside
from years and years of being told in one way or another
that I didn’t quite measure up.
Even as I’m writing this I remember an incident from my childhood
I was probably eight or nine years old myself.
I was playing outside and
experimenting with how fast I could run
keeping my arms at my side.
My mom was encouraging me in this and
I was feeling really good about myself
as I explored how my young body worked.
At some point my dad came over and started saying
that I should be pumping my arms when I run if I want to run fast.
As soon as he said that I felt deflated.
I remember my mom countering with:
“He’s running pretty fast even with his arms down like that.”
At that moment I remember my mood perking up a little bit.
Then my dad came back with “Yes, but he’s not running as fast as he could if he pumped his arms.”
Forming a limited self-image
And that moment I just gave up and stopped running.
The joy was taken out of the experience.
I know at that moment I lost the connection
to the joy of my physical body and
formed a self-image that I couldn’t run.
Now that I think about it this image of
being not physically capable
followed me for most of my young life.
That belief was never the real me
Now I am a martial artist,
martial art teacher and a dancer.
I lead an extremely physical life and
I’m reasonably talented at what I do.
I believe that ability was always in me,
but for most of my young life
I simply didn’t believe it was possible.
I have many limiting self-concepts
I know there are many other areas in which
I do not believe in myself.
Where I do not see the real potential that I have.
I must speak kind and loving words to myself
Part of my journey of self development
is to speak the same kind, loving and validating words
to myself that I spoke to
my young friend earlier this evening.
Every time I do I can feel myself healing a little more.
I can feel the armor that has
been built around my heart
cracking a little more and letting the light in,
or is it letting the light out?
Tearing up in the Timmy’s
It’s so funny, I’m sitting in the Tim Hortons
and tearing up as I’m writing this.
It’s full of young people hanging out!
I wonder what they think of this old guy
with tears in his eyes
speaking into his phone.
Every one of them needs this love to pierce their armor
I wish all of them could read this blog I am writing
because as I look around I can see in their eyes
that they would also love to have
validation and encouragement spoken to them.
I can also see the armor that has been
built up around their hearts
because of how life has treated them.
Never waste the opportunity to lift someone up
So I encourage you, every time you have the opportunity
to speak encouragement and validation to a young person,
make the most of it.
Let them know that you believe in them,
that you see wonderful things in them,
that you admire their qualities and their efforts.
Don’t forget to speak words of love to yourself as well
Of course, the way these things go,
the more you believe it about yourself
the more authentically you will be able to
express it to others and help them
to believe it about themselves.
Life really does flow from the inside out.