Connection starts with ourselves. Nurturing our connection to ourselves means treating ourselves like we treat our beloved friends, our lovers, our children: listening attentively, responding encouragingly, believing in ourselves beyond what might seem reasonable. As we heed our own messages, we will hear them ever more clearly, and they will lead us deeper into relationship.

When we are in connection with ourselves, we value ourselves enough to make sure we have an abundance of the things that nourish us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And when we have that abundance, we are able to nurture connections with each other and with the world around us.

Connection with other people means seeing them as people. It means freeing them from the stories we tell about them as individuals — he doesn’t care about me — and as groups — all poor people are like that — and really seeing them, as beautiful and as challenged we all really are.

Connection with the world means understanding it as a kind of being we can relate to; not as an object we have dominion over, but as something with needs and desires, something with a heart and destiny of its own.

These are important connections to make, but none of us can make them as fully as they deserve unless we are connected to our own deep roots and abundant sources. So for today, try on a long view: what good, important work are you shortchanging by not attending to yourself? What project could you nurture if only it weren’t so selfish or you had the energy? What delight do you turn your back on because it isn’t worthy? And can you make another choice?

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