Happy Luau

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Word for the Year: Valid

This word for the year requires some explanation, because I really want you to get how big it is for me.

Originally I started with the idea from this post by Patti Digh that I wanted to let go of striving. Yes! This passivity, or even better--surrender--is something that I want to incorporate into 2011. I don't want to push or try or force anything. I want to allow, to unfold, to unfurl...

I still want to do this.

Valid is something that I am. Not something I need to try to attain. But I haven't known this for most of my life.

For years I was an "invalid" (see the not "valid" in "invalid"?) and my greatest fear is, I've realized, becoming an invalid again...this was how the word "valid" first began to speak to me. My mother was someone who suffered, and I have been like her. I had CFIDS (chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia) for more than a decade, plus abusive husbands, poverty, and a panoply of physical ailments to deal with. I was like my mother in other ways, too. For years I lived as though I had no voice, no joy, no power, no money, no anger (when I should have), and submitted myself to harsh religious systems (and at times, cults) to find meaning in life.

All of this has changed as I've grown older, and especially since I had my first blog, tappingluau, and now happyluau. I'm not the same person I was. However, the sense of being "not enough" or of being of little worth has still been a theme in my life. With some of the counseling I've been having, plus the tapping (fasterEFT) I've been doing as a spiritual practice, I've realized this recently.

"Valid" says, to me, that I have intrinsic worth, intrinsic value, and that I matter. I count as much as anyone else. My opinions and beliefs matter. My feelings matter. My wants and my needs matter. I don't deserve to be treated poorly or tossed aside. I am not invisible. I am not (as someone in a significant relationship referred to me in the past, really!) a "car in the garage" to be used whenever someone (say, that person) decides I am useful. I am neither an invalid nor "not valid" nor inconsequential nor "not worthy". I am valid. 

Now to most of you--my dear blog readers--this sounds so obvious it would almost be silly. Yet as I wrote the above, I cried. It is so profound, and something that I've never applied to myself at a heart level.  It is key for me in being able to select my own church. It is key for me in being able to lose weight. It is key for me in being able to stop taking poor treatment from people, and for becoming angry and acting appropriately when I am treated poorly. It is key for me in stopping self-defeating behaviors and sabotaging my own success. It is absolutely vital for me in being able to be who I am.

There is nothing I have to DO to be "valid", either. I just am. That is the "allow" and "surrender" part. As I keep believing this, re-membering it daily, and applying it to my life, things will keep changing in 2011. This whole process will unfold and unfurl and without striving my life will become what I need it to be.

I can't wait.

~Photo of a bird's egg in our garden by LoveHubbie Mark, edited by me


Unknown said...

Wow. Olivia, it is so generous and helpful to share this. It takes us a while to discover the whole of our validity, to know our true selves. Thank you!

patti said...

It's a great word you have chosen O. To know that what you feel and think is important. To love your self, no matter what, is no small thing.

Unknown said...

Wow. I am struggling to convey my thoughts but I must tell you that I understand.
I remember a few years ago when I returned to college I felt some of this - this need to value myself and invest in myself as opposed to always giving so much to others. It was a moment when I realized that I mattered and was just as important as everyone else. (Still don't know if this fully conveys what I think...)
It's a great word and I wish you all of the fullness that it brings. Cheers to you!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Yvonne, it's good to see you here. It is definitely a process. As a late bloomer, I know I'm starting rather late, but thrilled that I'm starting because each day is better than the one before! peace and blessings on this happy new year 2011, xoO

Olivia said...

Thanks, Patti. It is no small thing. It feels so huge. I am happy. I am also sad to think of all the years I missed this. I am sad about the way I allowed myself to be treated for years. I am grateful that I have support and encouragement to learn to be different.

You know, Patti, the advice we give people is often different than what we can take into ourselves. I would have counseled this to anyone easily, but not really applied it to myself in any way except intellectual.

And you make another point: to know that what you feel and what you think is important---much of the time I didn't think it was important so I didn't even think it. I didn't even bother to ask myself what I thought, or even what I knew--because externally someone else had defined truth for me. I have some sadness about this but mostly joy to finally to be at a point of realization and actualization.

Happy new year to you in your lovely new villa, Patti, and a great year ahead, xoO

Olivia said...

Thanks, Kristine. I know, I know, it is hard to explain. Very hard. The realization of being a person TOO. Equal. Just the same. Not less than. Just as.

It is a surrender word and it is a strong word as well: VALID. It's like when someone validates your parking ticket and says "YES!" they did business here and don't have to pay. The ticket is then VALID. Worth something. Of some consequence.

There's a part of the word VALID that implies "ordinary" too, and I like that. If you're valid you're not necessarily special. I love that. I want to (as Patti Digh writes) pick up my ordinary. I want to be a FULL HUMAN BEING, worth exactly as much as every other human being. And the great thing is, I already am!!

I'm glad this resonates with you, Kristine :)

HNY and peace, O

Anonymous said...

Olivia, this is so powerful. I am so happy for you. This is something I know intellectually and have begun to put into practice in SOME areas of my life while still not in others. Most days, it's two steps forward, one step back. The progress is there, but it's sometimes very slow. Thank you for posting this and inspiring me.

Angie at Home said...

Oh dear sweet Olivia... I love the word and I'm so happy that this word has found you. I know 2011 is going to be amazing for both of us... I can just feel the energy snapping all around us.

Happy New Year my friend... sending lots of love your way.


Olivia said...

Thank you, Kelly. The progress is lightening fast for me, BUT I have so far to go--thus it is overall slow. I feel like things are changing so quickly and I'm working so hard. A whirlwind, but one that will take years...or certainly at least THIS year to show significant long term progress, I'm thinking.

Peace and love to you, Kelly. You inspire me as well, continually!! xoO

Olivia said...

EB, THAT's it-it did find me this year, I didn't find it! I would have picked allow or unfold or unfurl or ordinary or plenipotentiary (can you believe it). And "valid" hit me right between the eyes!

You are right about the energy, too--especially today!! Hearing everyone's words, wow...we should...CELEBRATE!

I am wishing you a year of celebrations of the ordinary and of the extraordinary, and much fun and gratitude in both. Peace and love, O

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful and powerful.
So much love to you, dear Olivia.
Happy New Year!

bwheather said...

This is such a wonderful word, and I think many people can relate to where you're coming from with needing to own this word for this year. I'm really encouraged that you've already really explored the word and what it means to you. I'm going to enjoy keeping an eye on how things go for you this year. ;-)

Kim Mailhot said...

Oh, Lovely One, this is such a sweet yet strong word ! I love the comparison of "valid" and invalid". The power of believing that we are valid is amazing. It is a struggle I have had all my life too, and I so understand the tears of surrender and joy when you begin to accept this about yourself. Yes, You are Valid, Olivia. So happy for you to be finally knowing that !
Big Love !

CrystalChick said...

I love the word you've chosen for this year. You absolutely do matter in so many ways! Of course, it is easy to say that to others, but many people really don't apply it to themselves enough. That you are doing this now is very cool. The allowing and believing and surrendering will take you as far and in as many different directions as you want to go on your journey.
Happy 2011!

Melita said...

awesome word for 2011!! thank you for your kind comment on my blog! may 2011 be a very validating year for you my dear!! big hugs!!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Lori-Lyn, and thanks for your help on how you chose your word. Happy new year to you too, xoO

Olivia said...

Thanks, Heather, I'd love to see you here! This time of year is so exciting with everyone choosing words and looking forward to making their lives even richer. Peace and love to you, xoO

Olivia said...

My Queen Kim, I am so glad that you can understand too. Thank you for your affirmation and validation. It is all about ME knowing in my heart what others already know. I want to do the same for you and tell you that YOU, my Queen are VALID and WORTHY, and that you COUNT and MATTER. You are important and visible. You, too are valid, My Queen! Thank you for sharing your Big Love with me each and every day :) xoO

Olivia said...

Yes, Mary, that's the thing, applying it to ourselves. I am a late bloomer, but I'm glad I'm blooming. Thank you too for commenting and affirming, and understanding! xoO

Olivia said...

The same to you, Melita. I am wishing you all the best for 2011. BTW, I am wanting this to be the year I return to yoga. It is harder as an obese woman, but I have some "big yoga" resources and have this as a definite want. Thank you for your motivations all year long. I rarely comment, but I enjoy reading your blog! xoO