you belong

How to create a relationship that matters

Ever felt lonely?

Left out?

Wondered if you would ever be truly appreciated and cared for?

I recently spoke with someone who told me, he never feels lonely.  Although he lives alone and does not currently have a partner, he still does not recall ever feeling lonely in his current setting and lifestyle.  However, he does recall feeling very lonely during the many years he was married prior to a traumatic divorce. 

On the other hand, I regularly talk to a number of people who are desperately seeking a partner or a relationship that matters.  They often feel lonely and deal with that in a variety of ways.  Some become more and more isolated, avoiding even situations where they might indeed meet someone and make a connection. They build up a wall to protect themselves from any and all possibilities of failure or success. Others create a whirlwind of activity that keeps them busy and preoccupied so that they don’t have to feel anything, especially loneliness. Neither approach really solves the problem.

So what’s the answer?

Wanting to belong as part of a relationship, a group, a family or a circle of friends is part of the human condition.  We all want to feel that we fit in somewhere and that we care about and are cared for by someone.  But there are a lot of things that can get in the way.  This is a complicated problem but here are a few of the mental culprits and obstacles that need to be overcome along the journey:

We don’t know ourselves–I know that it can take a lifetime to really know who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, our personality, our dreams and our goals. On the other hand, if we don’t spend any time in self reflection and understanding, it is very difficult to know where we would best fit in or who we would best relate to.  When we don’t know ourselves, we may try to endlessly please others or fit in where we don’t share the same values and goals.  Make understanding who you are an ongoing and ever expanding process.  Read, journal, meditate, pray, be open to insight. 

We don’t know who we are looking for–This problem can relate to the first but it is also about setting an intention.  Once we understand what we value and appreciate in someone else it is much easier to recognize that person or persons and where we might find them. This isn’t just about physical characteristics. Take the time to identify the core values, personality style, interests, attitude and beliefs of the other person. In her book, Write it Down Make it Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser, describes a client who began writing letters to her future mate, when she didn’t even have a clue who he would be.  Years later when she met him, she absolutely knew without a doubt that she had met her perfect match. Take the time to clearly identify the ideal that you are looking for. 

We don’t embody the other half of the partnership–You know yourself, you have an ideal in mind and nothing, but NOTHING seems to be happening.  What do you do in the meantime?  Act as if.  Seriously. What would the other half of your ideal be doing, participating in, talking about, practicing, accomplishing, achieving if you were already connected?  Then stop waiting to be discovered. Go ahead and do it…act as if.  Because if you are being that person then you are in a perfect position to meet and attract your ideal.   

Brene Brown says it all in her book, Braving the Wilderness:

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

Here’s a new program for my educator friends…

Summer of Renewal 2018

Being an educator means being stressed… right?

Isn’t that just part of the way things work?

Stressed about meeting standards.

Stressed about connecting with parents.

Stressed about classroom management.

Stressed about that child that you can’t seem to reach…

Actually being stressed isn’t how it has to be.

Feeling stressed is a symptom. Think of it instead as a sign or an opportunity to make changes that can lead to a better environment, both for you and for your students.

All of this isn’t magic. It takes strategy. It takes time.  But it doesn’t have to also take stress.  You don’t need to work nights and weekends to stay on top of it and you don’t have to lay awake at night worrying.

I’ve created a program to renew your energy, power, focus and control.  Learn more about it here:

Summer of Renewal 2018

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