When I was in school, I always knew when I was doing all right. My teachers smiled when they saw me (so did the librarians), my grades were good, I was in extra-curricular activities, honor society.
When I went to college, that was still how I could tell I was on track.
When I graduated, I still felt like I was doing things right. I married, had children, had a job, worked on furthering my education, but I felt crazy a lot of the time. I was very busy doing what I thought was right, but still. I couldn't tell if I was doing all right.
I started watering the grass. It was peaceful and quiet. The grass that I watered was lush and green. I could tell I was doing it right. My love of gardening seemed to grow from that. I could have a vast amount of control and positive feedback from my plants. And I didn't have to talk to anybody or defend anything.
But the other areas of my life were difficult. If you work, it is possible everybody appreciates your efforts. But there are times when it seems you are putting everything you have in it, and nobody notices. A friend said, "Doing a good job around here is like wetting your pants when wearing dark pants...you get a warm feeling but nobody notices." That may not be original to Judy, but I'd never heard it before.
I love my kids and I'm proud of them. But raising kids is difficult because they sometimes don't like things that the parents feel are important. So the defensive feeling is there.
Anyway, trying to come to terms with "I'm OK" on my own was a hard thing. If your parents think you're an idiot and tell you so, you either give up and accept that you're an idiot, or you blow them off in self-defense.
The next thing was the understanding that if I make decisions based on what somebody else says, I'm stuck with resenting them if I don't like the results. I started noticing that nobody is right all the time. It's about percentages. It's nice to be right. I'm right a lot. So I listen to what others say, check it against what I can find out about it, and decide what is "right" for me.
My "bubble" contains what I think is right. Letting somebody else tell me what is right and accepting it blindly, is wrong. This includes doctors. They can tell me what they think is right. And I'll listen. But not quietly.
My blood sugar was 78 this morning. My plan several years ago was to not go on medication, lose enough weight that my organs and glands would think they were serving one human, and then eat normally and see how that goes. I was going to use the Atkins diet to get there. It seems to be working for me. It was not what my doctor planned in response to those rising blood-sugar numbers.
Self-validation is different from denial. Self-validation means I decide and I check for objective and subjective proof.
I told my husband once that I played tennis just like a professional. When he stopped laughing to catch his breath, I said, "I've watched them. They hit the ball into the net, out of the court, and in. So do I. It's the percentages that are different."
One more thing: I have heard this and read it several times and liked it: If you didn't see it, it didn't happen; if you didn't write it down, you didn't see it." Hence the blog.