How being your true self helps you connect more deeply with the people around you.
There was a time when talking with someone new or within a group of people, I would spend more time thinking about what to say than speaking. I worried about not having something strong or meaningful or insightful to share. That whatever thoughts or feelings I had weren’t good enough, so I had to edit and rethink, shape and polish my ideas, myself, into something shinier and more wondrous.
I spent so much time thinking about how I would appear to others, what they would think of me. I struggled to come up with words I felt were worthy of acceptance, of perfection. I tried to control the outcome of what I said. The impact on whomever I was speaking to. Their impressions of who I was as a person.
It was a hard way of being
It didn’t matter if it was someone I knew and liked or a complete stranger. My self-worth was wrapped up in how another person saw me. My sense of belonging was given away for other hands and hearts to hold. It was a hard way of being. A lonely and exhausting path to follow.
Now, I’m curious when I speak to people. I’ve cultivated greater patience, a sincere desire to listen. A trust in myself that thrives on connecting. A trust that the words will come and that they will be beautiful.
It didn’t allow for deeper connection with the people I met. I often felt tense and anxious. A little swarm of bees in my chest that buzzed, quietly, without subsiding. I was relating to people on a level that rested on the surface of myself, forever able to shift one way or another, depending on what I saw in the other person’s eyes, or smile, their posture or tone of voice. It allowed me to be nimble to the sways of conversation, but it never allowed me to tap into the wealth of experience and knowing that rests deep in my heart. It never allowed me to share who I truly am. To be me.
Getting older, being a mom, doing more self-reflection, becoming more aware of who I am, putting more value on self care and self compassion, has changed all that. Now, I’m curious when I speak to people. I’ve cultivated greater patience, a sincere desire to listen. A trust in myself that thrives on connecting. A trust that the words will come and that they will be beautiful.
It’s a warmer, more open place to be
I listen more deeply to whomever I’m speaking to. I’m interested in what they have to say. I’m eager to learn their perspective and why they think what they think, feel what they feel, want what they want. It’s a quest for wisdom, rather than an internal battle for acceptance.
After being silenced, locked away in dark and shady recesses, the freedom and ease of letting my heart speak allows me to be the shiny, wondrous self I was always seeking.
It’s a warmer, more open place to be. I let my heart speak to me and to the people around me. And it’s amazing how much easier it is. The words come from deep inside me, effortlessly, and they flow and overflow, bringing with them beauty, gentleness, quiet. I’m calm, no longer tense and anxious. Instead, I’m filled with pleasure and joy. I revel in discussions, tapping into ideas and feelings I’d forgotten about or didn’t connect to before. My heart bursts with the arc and swell of them. And letting them go, letting them out into the world brings me peace, connecting me to whomever I’m speaking to with understanding, grace and healing. For me and for them.
That’s not something I ever thought a simple conversation could do, but connecting my true self with the true self of another person brings us both the same gifts. We recognize each other in ourselves and we’re kinder, gentler and more compassionate for it. Seeing someone else smile and share, open themselves up and express who they truly are is incredible. And doing the same for them is equally enthralling. It breaks the mold immediately. It makes me want to keep opening up my heart all the time. After being silenced, locked away in dark and shady recesses, the freedom and ease of letting my heart speak allows me to be the shiny, wondrous self I was always seeking.
There is a new knowing, a new pathway to love, a direct line to my eternal self that has always been there, but for so long was hidden and ignored. Just by being curious, listening, and trusting, I’ve come home. And it’s beautiful.