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Self-Validation

René Magritte // The Familiar Objects (1928)

It’s disconcerting at times, when a city consumes you. The unapologetic harshness yet unrelenting energy sucks you in, and before you know it, time (in my case, 1.5 months) has flown by and moments have passed. Does anyone else ever get this feeling? Feeling out of body, like you didn’t live those moments yourself?

I think whenever we move to a new place, our perception of self, changes; we meet new people everyday, and are constantly moving through the process of trying to obtain validation. We want the new people in our life validate who we are (or who we want them to see we are), and confirm that we’re a good person, perhaps hard working, feisty, an ivy league grad, the list goes on.

This constant character building, if you will, takes us farther away from self-validation. When we first socialise, we look to our parents for validation, then our friends, teachers, significant other, colleagues. Along this path, self-validation comes easy to some, and not so much others. Regardless of who you are - you want it, you need it, you'll do anything to have it. 

Personality, environment, and a host of other things enables – or hinders – an ability to do that, or the ability to see our own lives as meaningful, with purpose. In think a lot of people’s unhappiness stems from the struggle for self-validation.

They say an unexamined life is not worth living, but wouldn’t you rather be unexamined and happy, than examined but miserable? (A philosophical debate that’s best left for another time)

René Magritte // The Pilgrim (1966)

I think self-validation is the singularly the most important, or the source, of everything we do. Everything, no matter externally effectual it may seem, is irrevocably linked to self-validation. Everything is to fill of void in our mind of what kind of person we should be.

Do I respect authority or am I an advocate of counterculture? Am I dreamy and artistic, or am I a grounded realist? Or somewhere in between? On a deeper level: how far am I willing to go help those who are suffering? 

For the reason of self-validation alone, I think it’s important for us to examine why we do certain things or act a certain way. Understanding that motivation focuses time on what’s truly valuable. Validation from any other source is meaningless if self-validation doesn’t exist. 

Caring about the environment means nothing if we do it for the sake of pushing a liberal persona, or to be validated by society. Similarly, hedonism is justified if we someone truly believes through examination that it equates to a valuable life.

Validation from others is desired but empty, self-validation is essential and fulfilling. 

What do you guys think? As usual, leave comments below or private message me on the Contact Page with your thoughts.