Several days ago, a friend asked if my son likes my new habitat. I answered that he does. She made some interesting follow-up remarks: “affirmation by people who are important to us, is sometimes a need” and “one small negative remark can cause so much confusion and/or dissatisfaction”. Affirmation in this context can best be described as “emotional support or encouragement“.
A Google search on the word affirmation – or its synonyms approval and validation – reveals lots of hits. Clearly, this subject is important to many of us. A lot of these articles are, however, about self–affirmation. Self-affirmation could be viewed as a (self) boost to your self-esteem.
Affirmation by other people on my decisions is usually not that important to me. Everyone has opinions but that doesn’t mean that such opinions are relevant, interesting, or important to me. However, the closer these people are to me, the more important is their feedback.
In that earlier conversation, I mentioned self-doubt as a reason why “one small negative remark can cause so much confusion and/or dissatisfaction”. I went on by stating that a negative remark hardly matters when you believe in your choices and/or decisions.
The need for affirmation by others regarding our choices / decisions, as well as the (degree of) our belief in our choices / decisions, suggest a strong link to my concept of Needs-Wants-Beliefs & Awakening. Obviously, there are also plenty of people who are actively pursuing the affirmation of others on their own choices / decisions (wants).
Beliefs are often rock-solid but never insurmountable. Beliefs can either have a relatively small amendment following “progressive insight“, or a fundamental shake-up due to “a crisis of faith” (eg, my 2018 blog, NYMag-2006).
After some introspection, I realized that faith and love apply to similar subjects: family (parental, storge), friendship (philia), relationship (éros), and a Supreme Being (agápe, divine). Also see my 2017 blog and the ancient Greek words for Love. This must be the reason why only loved ones can shake our beliefs in our choices and/or decisions.
“The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation“. A quote by Simone Weil (1909-1943), a French philosopher, from Gravity and Grace, a “collection ofaphorisms published posthumously in 1947″.
Affirmation (1976) by George Benson
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise
Note 2: this is the first blog written from my new home