Life Begins Where Justification Ends.
I’ve spent decades being washed away in a justification current. My tendency has been to over-explain myself to others. Pre-empting my shortfalls and apologising when I don’t meet my own expectations. I’ve also spent way too long ruminating on alternative scenarios for past events — an attempt to rationalise situations in my own mind. It didn’t help that I was conditioned in some of my previous relationships. Justifying every word and action to appease my partners. Pandering to their insecurities. I lived in fear of consequences and recrimination. It’s easy for unhealthy habits to creep in when you are in the presence of toxic energy.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. Most of us are guilty of offering up our point of view. But why is it that we feel the need to defend our stance or provide reasons for the way we are feeling? Are we seeking approval? Is it our ego craving acceptance?
I believe that justifying is, at its core, an attempt to validate who we are. To make sense of our own experiences and affirm our perspective of the world.
Of course, we all want to be heard, but isn’t everyone’s truth accurate in their own mind. The things we say and the way we behave, are motivated by our unique history and our own thoughts. They are not open to judgement by anyone else. We all want validation. We all want others to understand us. Most of the time, explaining ourselves is a waste of time and energy on people who may never appreciate what we have to say. True validation will never arise from justification. It can only come from deep within ourselves.
I am more comfortable now in my own skin. I know my intentions and accept that not everyone is going to value what I have to say. I’m happy to explain if people are interested in my perspective, but I have left behind the incessant need to validate my words and behaviour.
I say ‘life begins where justification ends,’ because that is the place where we are no longer held back from worrying what other people think of us. We can spend the precious time that we have been frittering away on things that have more meaning and value. Having extra time is priceless, but since breaking the justification habit, I have noticed several other positive side effects too. I am more relaxed, less stressed, less distracted, have clarity of thought, and I’m sleeping better.
There is a sense of calmness in the space where the buzzing of my thoughts used to be.
How my intentions are received by others really isn’t any of my business. It seems so simple but it’s a revelation when it lands. It’s taken me a long time to get to this level of acceptance. If I need to validate who I am, it’s a warning for me. My aim is to live with an open heart and always come from a place of compassion and empathy. We all have work to do, but my work on justifying myself is done. I’m sure I won’t always do this perfectly, but I will continue to catch myself out and stop myself from explaining what doesn’t need to be explained. My hope is that one day, no one feels the need to defend their unedited, and unique self.
Take a moment to consider whether you play the justification game? Have you spent too much time and used too many words trying to defend your standpoint or prove who you are? Ask yourself what deeper need you may be attempting to fulfil. Once you understand the source of your motivation, you can find freedom from this habitual behaviour - No explanation necessary!
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