Living in this world today, this world of faster, better, bigger…MORE… environment, can leave us feeling alone, less than…even lost. At times, God forbid, it can bring on the darkness of suicide.

What is it that brings fulfillment to those people who seem to always know what to do and what to say? What is it that allows those “confident” ones to appear to flow through stressful situations, situations you’d think would wreck other mortals?

How do they do that? I know I thought that often, before I learned that I already had everything that I need.

“What you are seeking is seeking you” ~ Rumi

What I learned in my healing process is that Rumi has been correct for thousands of years. In all of the people that I have loved over the course of my life, I loved them AFTER they loved me. I was always shocked when they professed having “fallen” in love with me because I was intentional about my feelings, or so I thought.

Have you ever felt that way? Surprised, I mean, by someone loving you. I sure have.

Surprise left me and was replaced by astonishment when I realized that the reason people fell in love with me at the times they did had more to do with how I was radiating appreciation for them. I projected the love and appreciation I needed for myself upon a friend, and they misinterpreted that as me “being in love” with them.

It felt so good to feel loved and appreciated that they absorbed this from me and wanted more of me. I then interpreted this as being loved, as opposed to being sought after because of my energy.

This mistaken “love” was instead a role reversal. That role reversal robbed me of the change to form an identity based on being valued and loved. I was projecting value and love onto a friend, so when they gave it “back”, it was their version of their own self-worth that they were learning through me – not love for me as a woman.

Thus, false relationships fell away, no matter how hard we worked at them, because there was no authentic self-love on either side. We were empty wells attempting to keep each other full. And neither of us ever had any idea how to do that. Sigh. I had to learn to love myself!

Loving myself through loving others

In order to learn what was lovable about me, I applied my principles of connecting with others to self- care, which thankfully resulted in more authenticity and self- love.

I have listed six empathic traits that connect me to others, that also provided grace in healing and loving Self.


  1. Cultivate a genuine curiosity about yourself
  2. Look for commonalities I share with loved ones, not differences
  3. Feel into my story- remember what it has been like to “walk a mile in my shoes”
  4. Radically listen to my own heart. Be present for ME as much as I am present for others
  5. Rigorously nurture my imagination
  6. Allow my greatest pain to be my greatest strength, and inspire mass action with the passion that emanates from that healing aura.

This six traits are my yin and my yang. For those of you still reading, the yin is that passive female principle of the universe, yang is the active male principle of the universe. I had lived my life up until I learned to nurture myself from the yang side of me. That is the active masculine side of me. I moved, and shook, and took care of everyone but me. There came a time wherein I had to learn to care for me or I was going to die.

That is when my yin side took over. My yin is so soft, sensitive, aware and smart. Goodness, is this side of me loving and smart. I am also more kind than I ever realized. Thankfully, my yang side is so strong that it protected this softer, kind side of me until I was ready to shine from both sides, the light and the dark.

The lesson that I learned, and that I now impart to others in my work is that I grow not only from authentic self-reflection, but also by recognizing myself in others. Authentic connection generates empathy, and empathy is the glue that connects and strengthens the bonds that heal. This is how we are able to connect on a deeper and more authentic level.

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