“Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change.” ~Iyanla Vanzant


“It’s not always easy to do the right thing. It can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, challenging. We have to ask ourselves, then, “What kind of a person do I want to be in my life? An honorable one or something else?” What we may not realize is that our sense of who we are in the world is very much affected by whether or not we do the right thing. In fact, our self-worth & access to true happiness (based on feeling like we belong to the greater whole) are powerfully shaped by whether or not we tell the truth, keep our promises, honor our debts, take responsibility for our actions & behave with integrity. We may believe that it’s no big deal if we don’t do some or all of the above, but we can’t have genuine self-respect if we don’t respect others. Often, wrong actions emerge from not feeling a real connection with others. It’s this connection that compels us to treat people in the same way as we’d like to be treated (the “golden rule”), & it’s this connection that’s strengthened every time we do the right thing. The more we act with integrity, the more we’re connected with others & the happier & more self-loving we are; the more we choose not to do the right thing, the more we feel angry, sad, disconnected from others & alienated from our best selves. Obviously, not doing the right thing is bad for others but it’s also very bad for ourselves.”

“Emotional connection isn’t about doing things for each-other; it’s about being together with open hearts & open minds. We sometimes think that in order to make or maintain a connection, we’re supposed to be useful or helpful to the other person. In fact, that’s the antithesis of connection, as being overly helpful (as opposed to understanding & supportive) makes us into an object for exploitation by others. Real connection is about caring & sharing, expressing our needs & feelings to one-another & being seen & heard. Connection is about having many things in common (but not everything) & being OK with our differences. It’s about trusting the other person based on their actions showing us that they’re trustworthy, but also trusting ourselves, recognizing that we can tolerate & survive disappointment or loss. Above all, real emotional connection is quiet. It’s free of drama & intensity. It’s the experience of two or more people sharing a deeper bond; one characterized by mutual respect, appreciation & acceptance.”

~ Ruthless Compassion Institute

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