“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” ― Masaru Emoto
Again and again, I encounter people who have lost connection with themselves. They have become so accustomed to living up to other people’s standards – wearing masks to pretend they fit into society’s mold, filling other people’s needs instead of their own, and guarding their fearful hearts – that they’ve forgotten just who they are.
When I ask them what they long for, what comfort they need, what vocation is calling them, or what they take delight in, they look at me with sad eyes and say “I don’t really know. I never really ask myself that.”
We have become a disconnected people. We go through life doing what’s expected of us, buying the things the advertisers sell us, getting the education we think we’re supposed to get, settling for the job that pays the bills and doesn’t rock the boat, and paying attention to everyone else’s needs but our own.
Why? Because we’ve been taught to be consumers rather than citizens. Because we’ve been lead to believe that our own bodies are sinful, ugly, and unworthy. Because we’re convinced that focusing on ourselves instead of others is selfish and vain. Because our religious beliefs teach us to put others ahead our ourselves. Because we’re too busy to pay attention. Because we’ve ignored ourselves so long we can’t even hear our own voices crying out above the din. There are so many reasons why.
It’s time to reconnect. It’s time to return to stillness and contemplation. It’s time to listen to the whispers of our hearts.
This is not selfish. This is holy work.
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen
We cannot fully serve the world unless we serve ourselves first. If we are not healthy and whole, then we can not offer health and wholeness to others.
The world needs people who connect with themselves first.
People who know and trust themselves do powerful work in the world.
If you’re ready to find a deeper connection with yourself, consider signing up for a coaching session, a 30 day Mandala Discovery course, or an Openhearted Writing Circle. Or you can purchase Pathfinder and connect with yourself through a creative journal practice. You can also join me in retreat.