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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

No Waiting for Validation

Whatever you practice at you’ll get better. Which is why I have taken my self-care more seriously. Walking outdoors to clear my head. Social media breaks. Being generous with saying no, and saying yes only when I actually want to do something.

The value of these gifts cannot be easily measured. They are priceless. So, I usually don’t think of self-care in material terms. Anyone else can give me things. And yet, I’ve made a habit of treating myself to a big purchase at the start of each new year. It makes me feel joyful but it’s also something very sacred that’s just for me. I can be deliberate in celebrating myself. I deserve it.

As a Black woman, I am constantly reminded that I am not supposed to love myself, take care of myself, or celebrate myself. We tend to get settled into what everyone else needs of us that we don’t pay enough attention to ourselves. We don’t celebrate our wins, no matter how small. We have fallen into the habit of waiting to be validated.

In 2020, the hardest year for most of us, I was on the receiving end of racist comments in the workplace. A Zoom meeting turned into a nightmare that still weighs on me. I wasn’t looking for anyone to save me which is why I chose to save myself - in the way that was best for me. I didn’t waste time and energy believing that if I had done something differently, I would have had a better outcome. I did what served me in the best way possible. It was the highest form of self-care.

Freedom from the burden of taking personal responsibility for inequities I didn’t create is only part of what I deserve. I also deserve joy that cannot be extinguished by things I cannot avoid experiencing.

I used to spend a lot of time in waiting. If only this would happen, then this other thing will be great. We’ve all done it. You may be doing it now. We think that all the stars have to be aligned, in order to live our best lives. We wait for someone else to give us the green light, or a directive on how best to move. We wait for joy, peace, and even love. Each time that happens, it just pulls you further away from yourself.

I’m approaching a milestone birthday this year. Not sure how I will celebrate but I know that it will be exactly what I want to do. Epic, in my own way, of course. I deserve that.

Every time I center myself first in a situation, it’s about my own affirmation. It reminds me that I don’t need to wait for anyone else to tell me that I’m worthy. I don’t need validation, if I value myself.


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