‘You are Valid’

What do those three words mean, exactly?

Or, I guess, more accurately: what are you trying to tell me when you say those words?

I’ve heard them said so often they’ve started to lose all meaning. They’ve joined the ranks of ‘how’s it going?’ to a passerby; or ‘whats up?’ to an acquaintance.

Maybe that’s why they don’t quite seem to ring true.

They’re trying to convey everything in one small, easy to remember phrase; but the enormity of what they’re trying to say just can’t be contained within so few characters.

Eleven letters.

How can you say: ‘I see that you are struggling, and I know that you feel like you’re a burden on everyone around you, but I understand. I might not be able to relate but I know what you’re feeling is real. I know it hurts and you don’t have to justify it to me. You shouldn’t have to justify it to anyone. It’s ok. I’m here for you.’

How can that possibly be conveyed in eleven letters?

The truth is it can’t.

We can come to understand that arrangement of characters to mean all that, but it still will feel like a bit of a cop-out.

Yes, your feelings are very, very valid.

And yes, it is important to support those you love.

But when someone truly hurts, when someone is barely holding on, your companionship and presence will have way more impact than any three words could ever have.

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