look inside yourself
what you seek from another
you will find within
Ultimately, we all want the same things:
To be loved.
To be heard.
To be received with compassion.
To be held.
To be appreciated.
To be supported.
To express authentically.
To feel safe and secure in the world and in our bodies.
To feel a sense of belonging within community.
To be given space for our creative expression without criticism.
To have freedom to make mistakes without fear of retribution.
To have moments of silence, when we can hear the wind rustling the leaves, without the voices of taskmasters telling us to get back to work.
To love who we want to love.
To feel whatever emotions arise through us without someone telling us that we shouldn’t feel that way.
It’s common for many of us to feel bad about life when the people in our lives or our circumstances don’t provide these essentials. When people don’t listen to us, when they cut off our expression, when they don’t offer the support or compassion we expect or desire. Or when life circumstances cause us to feel insecure or unsafe.
We overlook the most important teaching:
What we are seeking cannot come through an outside person or circumstance. It can only come from within.
It’s perhaps the most simple lesson, and yet the hardest to internalize.
That doesn’t mean we can’t also get it from outside sources.
But if we seek these things only from without, we will never learn to cultivate them from within. And then we will live in perpetual fear that they will be taken away.
Learning to meet ourselves with compassion, to hold space for ourselves, to listen to ourselves, to cultivate safety and security within — these are not easy things.
It may be the work of a lifetime. But it’s essential work for all of us.