This past week, I had the privilege of connecting with many different people while presenting at the Local Author Night at Barnes and Noble as well as facilitating a local circling group. It was great seeing friends and former colleagues in attendance, but it was also fun meeting new people and listening to their stories. These experiences reminded me of the important role connections play in our lives – both our connections with others as well as our connections with ourselves.
When we have connections in our lives, we feel valued. But too many of us look outside ourselves for this validation. We let the opinions of our friends, our family, or even complete strangers determine our worthiness. But placing our worth in the hands of others is an unhealthy thing to do. For when we look to the outside world for validation, we often end up feeling like we don’t quite measure up. We continue striving for more and believing that if we act or dress a certain way people will accept us. We will do almost anything to make those connections we long for. But the truth is, that isn’t how it works. In order for us to connect with others, we must first connect with ourselves.
In order to do this, we must begin by peeling back the layers of how we present ourselves to the world. Our financial portfolios, academic achievements, physical appearances, and material possessions don’t determine our worth. We must delve beneath these layers, digging ever deeper until we uncover our true selves. Like hidden gems, we begin to sparkle when we let our inner light shine.
Once we uncover our true selves, we must love ourselves deeply. We must believe that we are enough, and we are worthy. The intense love we feel for our own daughters, mothers, or sisters is the exact same love we need to feel for ourselves. We must let go of the criticism and self-judgment, which will finally enable us to bask in our own brilliance. Embracing our true selves, we begin to hear our inner voice. We come to believe that we are whole and complete. There is nothing about us that needs to be changed or fixed. All we have to be is ourselves. We learn to trust our intuition. But it isn’t always easy. In our busy lives, we often listen to our minds instead of our hearts. Stuck in our “heads,” we become disconnected. It is then that we must slow down, breathe, and feel our connection with our entire body once more, trusting that through this grounding process, our inner voice will return.
When we connect with our bodies through meditation or walking in nature, we are grounded. We hear our inner voices and accept ourselves exactly as we are. Our intuitions expand, and we become the people we were made to be. We feel valued and whole. And once this connection with ourselves begins, we are able to make deep connections with others. Showing the world who we truly are and living an authentic life, we inspire others to do the same. Our lives matter, and when we are connected, anything is possible.
What about your inner voice? Can you hear what it’s telling you? Do you believe in your own worth? Do you believe in your own value? Listen and connect. Accept yourself for who you are and love yourself from the inside out. Peel back all the layers that you present to the world and connect with your “hidden gem” – showing off your sparkling light to the world. You are enough exactly as you are. Stay grounded and listen to your intuition. Believe in all the unique gifts you bring into this world. For once you connect with your true self, your world will be forever changed. Your inner light will shine for all to see.