Opening up to others helps make connections

End 'veneer of perfection'

Navigating life and the human condition feels hard at times.

I often think that somehow, I missed out on a much-needed instruction manual to guide me. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I’ve made it as far as I have.There are so many things I wish I could tell the younger me. There are many things I’ve had to learn the hard way.

I used to wear a solid veneer of protection, never exposing vulnerabilities. I thought I was the only person who felt so uncertain and was just trying my best to make it through life, hopefully leaving people better than I found them.

I’ve learned to use my humanity and life experiences as ways to connect with others. Dropping the veneer of perfection, allowing others to see what goes on behind the scenes has taught me we all have much in common.

In sharing what is real, connections and relationships have deepened. As we connect and share our stories and experiences, we support one another on the human journey. In this, we can relax and go about any healing that’s required to allow us to actually enjoy our lives and not just survive them.

It’s easy to think we are the only ones who struggle, who feel like we’re not enough, making it all up as best we can. We’re so brutal with ourselves, our self-talk is often most unkind. We’d never speak to another person the way we speak to ourselves, in the privacy of our own minds.

If we are to be our best selves, kindness is imperative—both self-kindness and kindness with others. Kindness is not a soft-skill, but one requiring maturity, strength, and courage. I love the word “courage,” as it’s root, “cour” is French for heart.

Recently, my friend Ann shared a poem by John Roedel with me that speaks to my heart. I thought I’d share it with you.

John Roedel is the author of five books that are well worth checking out.

Being human
is hard work

but my love,
I need you

to be kind with me

I am you

we are both the same little bursts of energy
controlling these skin and bone suits
as best as we can while we ride
together on this same spinning spaceship

be soft with me

I am you

we are both still trying to remember
the last thing the voice of Love sang
to us while we were taken out of
the same cradle of time and into life

be careful with me

I am you

we both have been intentionally and unintentionally wounded by people who were frantically trying to win the same race that has no actual finish line or trophy to hoist

be merciful with me

I am you

we have both intentionally and unintentionally
wounded others while attempting to follow
the same script that was written centuries ago
by people who were afraid

be present with me

I am you
we are both being constantly seduced by
the relentless guilt and anxiety who want us
who want us to be rooted in the same toxic soil
or the unchangeable past or the uncertain future

be sweet with me

I am you

we are both floating down the same
narrow lazy river that is carrying
us to the same endless ocean where we
will relearn how to surf on the waves of eternity

be understanding with me

I am you

we are both going to someday
be connected to one another again like bulbs
on the same string of lights where one glow blends effortlessly into the next one

~be kind with me~
~be soft with me~
~be merciful with me~
~be present with me~
~be sweet with me~
~be compassionate with me~

oh, my love,
be so very human with me

because because because
because because because
I am you

Untitled - John Roedel

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

An assistant minister at the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, she is a retired nurse with a master’s degree in health science and is a hospice volunteer.  She is also an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan and currently spends her time teaching smartUBC, a unique mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. 

She is a speaker and presenter and from her diverse experience and knowledge, both personally and professionally, she has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people gain a new perspective, awaken and recognize we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts, stress or to life. We are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 44 years and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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