Creating Space for Love In Your Life Is an Act of Self-Care. Here’s How to Be Brave Enough to Let Love In
Not too long ago, I was flat on my back for eight weeks, staring out the window as I healed from severe Covid. This experience transformed me. Not only is my heart more open, but also the chosen pace of my life has become blissfully content and more balanced. No more rushing or willing.
Covid taught me new levels of surrender. As I completely let go, so many new doors began opening, personally and professionally.
I am—as one client (and now friend) suggested I would be—“Stronger than ever.”
That strength comes from the long hours in solitude that helped me integrate new ways of being and listening for guidance. In finally accepting the quiet time— versus resisting it as some sort of punishment—I felt a peaceful, loving grace surround me.
How I Let in People of Capacity
A major shift was becoming more aligned with people who had the capacity to “be there” and hold me in pain or power, in sorrow or celebration, or in lows or highs. I knew almost instantly who the new additions of my caring circle would be, as they fit what I now call “a click and a stretch.”
The “click” is feeling an immediate connection, an ease, of meeting a like-minded other who appreciates and values all of you, as you are, in your authenticity. There is no reaching or trying harder to be understood by this person. Instead, there is a wonder and awe in discovering each other, gently and kindly, with a sense of a divinely orchestrated dance occurring.
I believe these types of meetings happen when we commit to staying true to ourselves and to never settling for less than we deserve. Then, as trusts builds, a greater sense of peace and security arrives, knowing this person has our back.
The contrary, the misfit in alignment, can feel like a pit in the stomach, or a racing heart, or a nudge somewhere in your body that tells you something is off. Listen to, and honor, the wisdom of the body.
Within an organization, career or other opportunity, alignment can be a feeling of “coming home,” as I experienced when first training to be a coach 20 years ago. I immediately connected with the teachings and the participants in the room, sensing I found my people.
How I Expanded through the “Stretch”
The “stretch” is an internal knowing that this person, or opportunity, will help you grow and vice and versa. To stretch, we often have to let go of the steering wheel, and stay open to expansion. Our own limited thinking will often be challenged for our greater good as we absorb the gifts of another’s perspective. There is a sense of relief, in that you alone no longer have to do “the heavy lifting.” The responsibility for growth feels mutual, and you both give and take to help make one another larger than one could be alone. You also co-create a safety net, a nurturing and supportive place to land or regroup during the growth spurts.
The “click and stretch” mentality works well in corporate America, too, especially now with the ongoing “Great Resignation” (also known as “The Big Quit”) of employees leaving companies in droves.
I am blessed to coach some great corporate leaders who are shining their light in new ways. They bring empathy, compassion, and insights from their own healing journeys to the teams they manage, adding another dimension of care.
The pandemic, and all of the isolation associated with it, has created a greater need for this sense of care and belonging. We cannot feel we “belong” without being treated as worthy, which means to be seen, heard, validated and acknowledged. That level of witnessing another takes time and a commitment to being present—and often a pause to reflect on the exchange and its benefits (or harm) to us.
With a “click and stretch” mentality we choose to align with people where we can uplift and champion, and help expand, one another. We simply let love, in all its forms, in.
This sounds simple, but it often has challenges, as noted in the book I frequently reference, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. As we rise up, others may leave or try to take us down, as we subconsciously threaten them with our success. That lack of ability to support another’s growth is their journey to heal, not ours.
Our job is to be brave enough to live our best story (not the one conditioned in from early life), claim our strength, and bypass both the internal and external saboteurs by honoring our power within.
We all have that greatness, and it is time to stop focusing on the circumstances of our lives or the world, and give our attention to claiming our unique gifts. The world needs our best selves now more than ever. We can do this by letting in love around us.