Self-connection matters (more than you might think)

"You Can't Give What You Don't Have." -- Unknown

One of the themes I’m exploring more deeply this year is connection. I’m interested in it from two perspectives. The first is self-connection, and the second is a continuation of that: connection with others. My theory is that one cannot have meaningful connections with other people if they don’t first have a healthy, satisfying connection with themselves. This makes sense to me and resonates deeply with me so let’s take a look at what it’s all about, shall we?

To me, healthy self-connection means that you’re both in tune and in touch with your body, mind, and spirit. Only last year did I become aware of the trifecta of the head-heart-body connection (that’s mind-spirit-body, btw), but since then, I’ve made huge strides in aligning the three to deepen my connection with myself. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been worth the work and the effort it takes to become attuned to myself and ultimately, better connected with myself.

It only occurred to me last fall that the connection I was fostering with myself could lead to me being better connected with others as well. At first I didn’t even realize that me better connecting with myself could somehow serve or improve my interpersonal relationships. However, once I realized that me being better connected with myself was actually serving my other relationships as well, I was excited and even more interested in the idea of connection.

Once I was better connected with myself, I found it easier to give of myself for social time with others and to better serve others. When I became attuned to myself and my wants, needs, and desires, I was able to give myself the things I wanted and needed. Once I was satisfied in those regards, I was then able to see that I had more to give to other people. Because I’d connected with myself first and satisfied those basic needs first, I was able to tap into that source and realize that much more was there.

Since I’ve improved the quality of my self-connection, it’s changed my life, fundamentally. Now that I know in my heart that I’m taking care of myself, it’s easier for me to take care of other people. I’m in touch with the joy and peace that I have in my own heart, and through that connection, I can extend those things to others. Not only do I feel more attuned to the important people and causes in my life, but I feel like I have even more to offer them. Because I’ve taken care of myself first, I have so much more to give others.

The importance of a healthy and robust self-connection cannot be over-stated. If you find yourself giving to others but never making time for or devoting resources to yourself, stop. Take the time to re-evaluate who you are and what you need. Invest in either establishing a connection with or deepening the connection with yourself and see what happens. When you’re whole and taken care of by your own self, you’ll almost always find there’s more to give to others. Remember, we can’t give what we don’t have so if you don’t have a connection to yourself, you can’t possibly offer that to other people.

In short, take time for you. Get to know yourself better. Make yourself and your mind-body-spirit connection priority #1 in your life. In doing so, you’ll better serve and connect with those around you. A full cup flows freely so take the time and fill your cup! Do it for you and for those you love and care about.