Validation, Vindication, and Whatever


I wish validation were as simple a thing as getting your parking validated at the restaurant after dinner.

Validation is like helium. It’s a blast when you inhale it. And it’s present in the atmosphere all the time. But capturing it? Nearly impossible.

There’s something gnarly in us that seeks validation. A desire to see yourself as legit comes from a dark, insecure place. Seeking validation is lonely. It’s unnatural and unhealthy.

And although it’s an unhealthy place of loneliness it’s the corner pub, full of lonely and unhealthy people on a Friday night ignoring reality while seeking a fix.


Many of us seek vindication. Perhaps we’ve made a mistake and we are trying to prove to ourselves or others that we’re better? Perhaps we’re trying to prove someone or something wrong?

We use vindication as the fuel to burn a fire that burns deep. It’s our souls double espresso. It’s the secret ingredient of that keeps us awake late and gets us up early; driving, driving, vindication drives.

Vindication is amoral. But it can lead us to extremes, too. It can take us hostage while we think it sets us free.


The things that I thought would validate… didn’t.

The things that I thought would vindicate… didn’t.

The good stuff came when I gave up.

When I replaced validation with restoration, I got it. And when I replaced vindication with forgiveness, I got it.

That’s the whatever. It’s not, “Whatever, I don’t care and I’m lying to myself because I really, really care.”

It’s the whatever of saying, “You know what? I can’t control the crap that was done to me. But I can control what I will do going forward.

It’s a “Whatever happens, I’m still going to be faithful to the one who validates and vindicates me.


By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

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