When we are present, we have the opportunity to make real and meaningful connections with others. Certainly, it is important to be present for your friends and family, but also it is also important to connect with the numerous people we encounter throughout the day. Being present allows us to make new and profound relationships that might just start from a someone you meet during the normal course of the day.

However, when we are locked in our heads, we automatically response to people with the obligatory “good morning” or “how are you” without even realizing that there is a real person in front of us. Making real connections with other people begins with being in touch with our emotions. Feeling at home in your body is essential. The more you understand your emotions and reactions, the more authentic you will be with other people.

All your relationships in the world center around the most important relationship in your life, the one with yourself. The more connected you are with yourself, the more connected you feel in the world. Bringing acceptance and self-compassion into your life, you learn to focus your energies on living a life that you value and appreciate. You learn how to and develop more effective skills to deal with emotional reactions that block your ability to live a meaningful life. 

Here are some thoughts for you to consider about your relationship with yourself:

  1. Find the obstacles. If you have trouble making connections with other people, examine more carefully the barriers that hold you back from making connections with others. Do you feel inhibited or fearful? Do you make excuses to isolate yourself from others?
  2. Be genuine. The only connections that work are the ones that you care about; the world will see through anything short of that. If you don’t have an authentic interest in the person with whom you’re trying to connect, then ask yourself why you are spending time on this pursuit. Being genuine is a gift, both to yourself and to others in your life.
  3. Pay attention. If your attention is not in the present, it’s nearly impossible to genuinely connect.  Genuine concern is a desire to understand the other person. Not just superficial knowing, but understanding the whole person. Drawing upon your ability to empathize, invest time in learning what matters to them.
  4. Forgive yourself. If you find that you are having trouble forgiving others, reflect any issues that you might have in forgiving yourself.
  5. Support network. Having a close group of people that you could rely on to help you with almost anything is a vital source of personal growth. This group can help you solve problems, provide insights on a situation that you might not see, take your concerns seriously, and most important make you feel valued.

Self-connection helps understand what makes life meaningful and will give you a solid basis for connecting with others. Your mindfulness practice will help you develop a better understanding of yourself by fostering compassion and understanding for yourself and others. 


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