Give Fewer F*cks: Learning to Find Validation From Within

Starting my podcast led me to unearth some deeply rooted pieces of my shadow. It gave me a better look at my full spectrum – the lightest of my light and darkest of my dark. On the one hand I was able to see a greater expression of the beauty I’m capable of creating, an exquisite experience, but on the other, I’m met with more of my shadow and unhealed parts than ever before. 

To help me process these things I have my Leo Moon support group (and by “Leo Moon support group,” I mean group chat with a fellow Leo Moon pal.) Sharing this bold moon sign, my friend and I share many of the same shadow qualities – like worrying about what other people think or trying to fit in. Her and I have both spent a lot of time and energy living out that deeply-rooted Leonine desire to be loved. To realize I’m still going through this, when I’ve been through this, brings up a lot. 

A few years ago I had a real moment when I found Abraham Hicks, got the deservability treatment from my therapist and all that. At the root of it all, what I ended up practicing and learning through these things was self love. My whole life changed in the process, and everything shifted for the better. My life became a reflection of the self love I learned to cultivate through my daily inner work, like journaling and reading my deservability treatment in the mirror. 

Leaning into my authentic self through creating my podcast has sent me back through things I’ve been through before, but this time at a deeper level. To illustrate this point, let me tell you about Rita. Rita is someone who I (barely) know in real life but have known for a long time – she was one of my teachers in seventh grade, which was a very interesting year for me. These days she’s a patron of my grocery store, a dedicated pandemic volunteer, and just a generally lovely soul. 

Rita is that person in my life who, in my mind, is the reason I can’t be my real self. She’s not the only one who plays that role in my mind, but she’s definitely the first one I think of that I’m “trying not to disappoint.” For the longest time, I’ve kept my personal Facebook page completely separate from my Owning Authenticity page (formerly My Intentional Gifts), where I share about my spiritual journey and offerings. I did that very deliberately because I felt that I wasn’t ready to unveil that side of myself on my personal Facebook page, and I felt this specifically with Rita in mind. I see her once every couple months, yet any time it’s time to make a decision about revealing my true self in a public way (which is pretty frequently these days), she comes straight to mind. Do you have a ‘Rita’? Or maybe, like me, more than one? 

Despite who or how many, I learned that what gives our Ritas so much power really boils down to two things: wanting to be liked while also not wanting to explain yourself. 

That second piece was a big revelation for me that resonated immediately (shout out to my Leo Moon support group aka Trudie). I realized that everything that I wanted to share, and was sharing “privately” through my Owning Authenticity page, was a product of the self love and happiness I had worked so hard to cultivate in my life. Inside, I was dying to embody that joy and share this path that I’ve found with the world. This path has yielded new connections, new friends, new opportunities, new growth, new levels, new experiences, new territory – all in the pursuit of mastering myself in a joyful way. So what did I feel was not “socially acceptable” about that? It became clear that my Leo Moon energy was at play, and that I still cared way too much about what other people thought of me. I knew it was holding me back.

That’s when a good friend swooped in to put me on a F*ck Budget. My f*ck spending was out of control – I was giving them out left and right, as if they were infinite. The F*ck Budget instantly brought that into focus and helped me to reign it in, but it was all from the starting point of practicing self love. Now I wanted to downsize the f*ck-giving again, and I knew just where to begin – more self love. More self love and more self acceptance, because at the end of the day (and the end of our lives), all we have is ourselves. To prioritize what other people want or expect from you is to deprioritize you, when the truth is that you came here for a reason, a reason which is actually worthy of your f*cks and deserves your energy.

I love where I am in life right now, and truthfully, I don’t want to present myself to anyone who is going to react negatively and then have to defend myself. But I’ve realized that I really don’t have to defend myself. Fairly recently I had one of my first experiences with sharing my work to my personal Facebook page, and not all of the feedback I got was positive. Someone who I’d known since high school left a comment saying that the project I’d shared was tasteless, offensive, and invalid. When I saw that, the reaction that first went through me was anger, but that anger quickly turned into “Eff you! Who cares?” This was my creation, and it felt good to make it. Others had enjoyed it, so anyone who didn’t could just get the f*ck off my page.

When the commenter, Jojo, didn’t get the response from me that he wanted, he sent a private message to continue the harassment and even concluded the message with a threat. That’s when I realized that it was him who was so desperately seeking validation, and that I didn’t have to give it to him. My giving a f*ck would have given him the validation he wanted, but instead I deleted the message, unfriended him, and sent him on his way with good freakin’ vibes. There was no room in my budget to give away another f*ck to yet another overblown spectator in the peanut gallery, and I learned that by not engaging, in this case with Jojo’s negative comments, the collective volume of my Choir of Ritas lowered. I was putting my true, badass self out there, and anyone who didn’t like it could get out – their loss.

Thank you for reading, dear friends! Find more articles like this one on the Owning Authenticity blog and hear more stories on my i Learned podcast. Explore the rest of my offerings on my website

Content from Episode 5 of “i learned…” podcast by Carly Whorton, adapted by Maddie Billings

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