Greetings to YOU, and a Huge, Warm Welcome to our new subscribers!
All of us are born perfect, whole, and complete. From that moment on, our individual experiences affect how well that truth is reflected back to us.
Some of us are wrapped up tight in healthy expressions of Love and Belonging from the start, allowing us to know, in our heart of hearts, that we are safe and secure. This foundation of trust helps us to easily create meaningful relationships - with ourselves and others.
Some of us experience stress and early trauma from the start, leading us to question, in our heart of hearts, whether we will survive. This foundation of panic and confusion is part of my story, as I was raised the last of 5 kids in a family deeply affected by my father's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
One memory stands out above all others. I was 6 years old, traveling with my family in our station wagon. In true tomboy fashion, I was wrestling and giggling with my brother as we played "this-is-my-line-and-don't-cross-over-it" in the back seat. We must have been too loud. We must have kept laughing after being told one too many times to sit still and be quiet. We must have been on my dad's last nerve, because he stopped the car and made us get out in the rain.
And then he drove off.
Running through the mud I lost a shoe, but that was the least of my worries. I screamed "please come back...I promise I'll be good...I'll be anything you want...I'm sorry!" In that life-changing instant, that spunky free-spirited little girl in me decided she was not good enough, safe enough, or loveable enough. Something was wrong with me and I had to change.
So I tried to be "more lady-like", sit still, and be quiet-(none of which came the least bit natural to me!) I honed my gifts of sensitivity and intuition to anticipate the needs of others, taking care of them so they would need me and not leave me. Approval became more important than authenticity, and my real self was buried beneath the roles of people-pleaser, perfectionist, and performer.
Needless to say, it was hard to make true friends or meaningful connections pretending to be someone I wasn't. On the outside I appeared confident, was a straight A student, and seemed to belong...but on the inside I was scared and confused, taking cues from the petite, polite, popular girls just to feel like I fit in. This led to a love/hate relationship with food, cursing my athletic build, and burn out-- which is part of what I now call Toxic Success.
Over the past 26 years I've unpacked the heavy bags of shame, negative beliefs, self-doubt. I've finally stopped racing for a feeling of worthiness through high achievement.
I've learned how to restore confidence, overcome fears, nurture healthy relationships, and use spiritual practice and self-discovery to create what I now call Balanced Success.
On my journey back to authenticity, I've unwrapped many priceless gifts -- compassion, forgiveness, acceptance of imperfection, connection to the Divine, self-love, and above all my life's purpose as a resilience coach.
Since we teach best what we've needed to learn ourselves, I'd like to share 3 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships that I hope you find helpful in your own life:
1. Look Upward for Validation: There's no need to look outside yourself for approval. You are already enough. You are perfect in your imperfection. There is no hoop you need to jump through to be worthy of love and connection. Ask for Divine Guidance in your desire to be surrounded by a healthy circle of support and friendship. Watch for "God-Winks", listen for answers, then be willing to take inspired actions to create more meaningful personal and professional relationships based on authenticity.
2. Befriend Yourself: The first trick to finding friends is befriending ourselves. It's absolutely essential to Know, Like, and Trust yourself. To have a good friend, you must know how to be one, which requires self-respect. Although it's not always easy, look for every opportunity to give and receive unconditional self-love, to heal your wounds, to forgive yourself, and to feel comfortable in your own skin.
3. Find Your Tribe: Author Jane Howard says "Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, Whoever you are, you need one." I believe we all crave the deep connection that graced friendships offer. These days I'm blessed with sister-friends who allow me to be exactly who I am, who help me grow and invite me to grow with them. Who cheer with me when I make difficult choices, laugh with me, dance with me, and revel in nature with me. They get quiet with me. They listen to my vulnerable stories and tell me theirs. They don't judge, but instead keep their heart open, gently holding space for me to uplevel. Together we are Synergy Strong.
Do you have close friendships based on truth and transparency? If not, start today and take one small step ~ life is too short not to cultivate these priceless relationships!
Since the Synergy Success Circle is designed to provide inspiration, motivation, practical work-life balance tips, friendships, and networking, perhaps we'll cross paths this week?
May we BE the kind of friend we want to have,
Christina Kunkle, CTA Certified Life & Wellness Coach, R.N.
Master Reiki Practitioner, EFT Advocate
"Resilience Coach for High-Achieving Women
who want to thrive by building a life, not just a career."