Skip to main content

Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Validating Feelings

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Looking Up

What is he feeling?

What is he feeling?


Validating feelings seems real hokey pokey to me. Please validate my feelings? Well the long and the short of validating feelings is that it is a good thing. But why is it so misused? Well that really breaks down as an argument tool. Discounting another’s feeling is a quick route toward disagreement on real issues. Oversimplifying validation of another’s feelings is a quick route to avoiding a real issue. If we can focus on how one feels we can avoid talking about a real issue.

When someone responds to a point of another attacking them and how they expressed their feelings it is lame and does no good. Likewise just responding to a point and not accepting those feelings does no good. Humankind is multidimensional and requires acknowledging that as a truth. If you do acceptance and focus on a point in a loving way, serious issues get resolved. Discount another’s opinion and how they feel about something with anger and you get no resolution except to fight some more.

Huge social issues and familiar issues are heavy duty these days. Politics and religious hot button issues are on the dinner table and next to the water cooler. Seems as though someone put logic over on the shelf and cleared the way for feelings being the motivating factor when facts and rational evaluation should be paramount.

I hate “I hate”. It is a paradox that I just cannot avoid. But I can reflect and not act on that feeling, mine or yours. Would it be possible that validating my feelings of hate could help in resolving differences? We must be able to recognize and respect while perhaps not agreeing. Maybe we only need to say “I get it but can we leave emotion over on the side for a bit and address your solutions to this problem.” “I understand that your feelings are your own, and I can see them but they are not my feelings so can we respect that and move on to discussion?”

Let us note the age old maxim. Your spouse may very much not want you to provide a solution but rather just listen to the rant. There is the most poignant case of simply validating is the right thing to do. Hey, the little boy does not want to hear about why he fell and hurt his knee while it is bleeding. Pretty clearly he needs hugs and Band-Aids which may or may not really help the injury healing deal.

Respect Yourself!

Mustard Seed

Just a little respect.

Just a little respect.


Let us just accept the reality that adult and younger children do not want to deal with a parent’s feelings. They do not want to hear about mom’s hurt feelings or dad’s opinion feelings. That transition takes time and age on behalf of the child. Get one that has no marriage of children of their own and that gap is nearly insurmountable. How can they validate that which they totally cannot relate to from their own experience. That is probably the greatest and most difficult rift there can be.

My dad went to war. My dad was a doctor, and also had 6 children. He on occasion rode a horse to school. He had a Jesuit education. Let us just say that by 23 I still did not really get him. But I really respected his points of view.

Just say that by 25 I had children, a demanding wife, a doctorate, religious education and had lived in places where a car was a full on luxury. Well by golly I started to be able to properly validate his feelings. I could not force it but life experience created a space where we could almost agree on each other’s point of view. By two decades later we actually agreed on far more than not. We no longer had to state our feelings, they were understood. “I know you ‘feel’ strongly about this but let’s look at the facts.”

First we must recognize when we are hurt by another who is just plain ignoring our point of view and our feelings. Back to the adult children. We must get a handle on that. In other words we have to understand our own feelings and that requires loving ourselves. I simply cannot understand your feelings without understanding my own. Sounds like the sometimes silent authoritarian father who just refuses to get in touch with his own feelings.

But look at the small boy. He basically only cares about the feelings of his parents. Isn’t that interestingly humorous? And as they grow into a teenager that is the last thing they care about as they are busy conjuring up avoiding what they do not like and figuring on how to get what they want. It ain’t no longer what mom and dad feel but rather how I can get mom and dad to give me what I want. (Of course that is overly stereotypical – kids are loving and not black and white.)


A good caring couple.

A good caring couple.

Just a Little Bit!

Validate Yourself

Well how do we navigate the above eccentricities and complicated realm of feeling matching up with the practical. And let us never forget to at least make a small effort to validate feelings. Mine and yours. Let us look at the easy ones to realize the answer is found in compassion and love. Come on now, we can do it. We can love and respect our adversaries.


God is great. Or should I say here; god is great. Most discussion about God is really about god. Especially arguments. I feel very strongly to not cram my feelings of God down your throat or try to make you feel as I do. Now Jesus teaches us true and truer that God is love. Nothing can be more clear out of the Bible. Just check it out: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” That is out of 1 John 4. No I do not have a tattoo but it is burnt into my brain.

So we have to use our love and try to understand another’s feelings about God. And atheist is welcome here, call her my adversary. I must love her and to do that I must recognize, evaluate and validate her feelings of God. Clearly this shows us validation. We do not need to agree with our spouse but we must listen and empathize and sympathize – again no need to share his feelings.

Scroll to Continue


What a great place to practice. How important here. Did you know that political science has statistically proven that people vote against more often than for. So as strange as it sounds the current mode is correct. You just feel strongly and condemn the “other” guy and that is a resolution. Same on issues. So we say “I understand how much you hate Bozo, I respect your’re hate.” So perhaps we should talk about an issue so you do not get so distraught. So what does patronizing mean?

We are right back to our first and second paragraphs. Perhaps they seemed out of place. But now we can see that how we approach validation is the most important aspect of all.

Hey now in closing let me tell you that if you validate this piece I will be happy. Even if you disagree. And as you already know. God is great as it is truth that the real God is love. Can I get an amen?


Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on July 15, 2020:

It is easy to get caught up in facts and forget the feelings of others. We can argue facts, but feelings are not right or wrong. We simply have to accept them. Thank you for emphasizing this important issue.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 15, 2020:

Thank you Linda. I am always nervous to publish, but good friends like you validate me, Thanks again.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 14, 2020:

Validation is an interesting and important concept. Thank you for the reminder, Eric.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 14, 2020:

Manatita I was having some word fun with my son. And we agreed There must be something wrong with love and that we would find it. You'll know on the next Boy teacher piece.

Dr Sleep from Pak on July 14, 2020:

Ericdierker, Sir i gonna be fan of you

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 14, 2020:

Thanks much Munawar, I appreciate you reading and commenting. An interesting area.

manatita44 from london on July 14, 2020:

Ameen, Bro.

A lot of love and feelings here. Some great validation too. I love the fact that you respect atheists. My experience with them, is that most are nice people, who, if we sit down and have a chat, then I discover that they are looking for meaning, in the same way that I do. Lovely piece!

Dr Sleep from Pak on July 13, 2020:

A good one

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 13, 2020:

Bill add me to Bev. You have it down.

Funny about screwing up in that first marriage. I am so in love and happy with where I am that I am kind of glad at my previous issues.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2020:

Sorry I'm late, dude! I had a porch to enlarge and it took a bit longer than I imagined. I'm guessing old age. What do you think?

Yes to validation, although it cost me a marriage, long ago, to learn that lesson.

I think I've got it now. At least Bev says I do.

Peace always, my friend!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 13, 2020:

Thanks Devika. I was just thinking about our community here and how we really do listen to each other. That is so cool.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 13, 2020:

Flourish you are so right. I like to think a strange thought. All thoughts matter. Personally, understanding another has just hands down beat winning for me.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 13, 2020:

Hi Eric listening is so important and with and attentive face says it all

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 13, 2020:

MG I thank you for that reference. Perhaps I should give some citations of the Gita more often. It certainly has had an influence in my life and therefor writings.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 13, 2020:

Linda I thank you for that swell note. I really truly enjoy learning other peoples viewpoints. We do proper manners here though. And I do not cotton anger rudeness.

As we are such good friends I would just assume we could listen to each other. And find so many more areas of agreement than we would may have thought. After all we both hold love as the ultimate in good.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 13, 2020:

Listening even to ideas, thoughts and perspectives we completely disagree with can mean all the difference. Ideally it’s a two way street.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on July 12, 2020:

This is a very nice article with excellent advise and sentiments. This is what is stated by Lord Krishna in the Gita also.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 12, 2020:

Eric, it just leaves me shaking my head. If we would just remember to "do it in love" all the rest would fall into place. I "assume" (and yes, I know the saying that assume makes an a-- of you and me) that you and I don't totally align/see eye-to-eye politically. But, do I think you and I could have a friendly chat about our beliefs and isms and still be friends? Absolutely. I love you to the moon and back.

Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things we don't need to be told that we're right, we don't even need to have our thoughts accepted, we just need someone to listen. If you take the time to listen, it at least shows that I matter to you.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 12, 2020:

You're just making yourself hotter in this heat wave. Pure thoughts on a Sunday please.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:

I was also thinking how sassy my own personal hottie carrier would look packing and with a badge. GRRR.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 12, 2020:

Hey it's a chilly 90 down here Chulajuana way. I like your ideer about us posties packin. Maybe I could get some respect from my supervisors that way. Try to stay cool over there.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:

Pamela, you "Amen" made my little heart pump more blood to my brain. We do not write for money around here but we love getting paid with an amen.

Really caring may take more effort than we are willing to spend -- too often.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:

Mel it is a great day not to get mail. What is all this about mail holds? Really good article you have on that. Maybe I could figure out an "emotions hold". But that would be boring. I love crazy feelings just spewing forth in the heat of passion.

My wonderful big sister was telling me that prosperity gospel preachers were just snake oil salesman. Oh how wrong her little atheist mind is. The make you all jacked up and happy. They validate your daydreams. hihihi

Tried looking down your way but I got heatstroke on the patio. Only 101 out there.

I decided if the locals defund the pOlice then the feds should deputize all the Letter Carriers and give them something stronger than doggie mace. Talk about a new normal.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:

Thank you Teresa. It is an interesting area to delve into. I hope if we think about it, we can address it in a caring way.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2020:

Amen, Eric. I took that sentence literally. No doubt that God is love. I think what you said about politics is true. We probably do vote against more than for something or someone.

This is a good sermon today. I think if we woud allow people to have different opinions from ours, we all would get along much better.

God Bless you, Eric.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 12, 2020:

Well Preach, once again you have given us a tightrope to tiptoe down without leaning too far to one side or another, lest we fall off. Can't you just share a little refreshing prosperity gospel with us once in a while, so we can just go count our money and not worry about anybody's hurt feelings?

You must have been peeking through my window with a telescope over there from the Sprung Valley, when you said that my wife just wants me to listen to her rant, without offering solutions. I think you nailed that one. If she wanted my opinion she would give it to me, so the saying goes.

Your Sunday sermons have become a staple of my existence. Great work.

Teresa Maru from Kenya on July 12, 2020:

Great piece, very relatable and a conscience tickler.

Blessed Sunday Eric

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 12, 2020:

John thank you for that important comment. People shake their head at me and chastise my feelings. I hold up and in awe of public servants. From presidents to superintendents of sanitation, they serve me. Show me a perfect lady, and I will show you that they are not fit to lead.

As writers we don't have to be perfect at all, our warts make us unique. But we better get over it and expect no validation.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 12, 2020:

Amen Eric, the real God is Love. There was a lot of useful lessons within this sermon. That point you make that people vote “against” more than they vote “for” is so true. A lot of the time they just focus on the cons of the party or person they vote against rather than even considering the pros of the one they prefer.

Related Articles