As human beings, it is crucial that we identify which of our many needs are most important and should take precedence. I believe that our two greatest needs in life are safety and connection, and while the identification of these two needs has been relatively simple for me, the question remains: How do we go about getting these seemingly simple needs met?

Throughout my life, I have found that some of the ways in which I went about creating safety and connection for myself were ultimately harmful, and some of them ended up really hurting me. How ironic that in the attempt to save my life, I went about it in such a detrimental manner– and in the interest of radical honesty— in ways that could have actually killed me.

We all desire safety, and we all crave connection, and we do not always know the best way to foster either of these for ourselves. Personally, I have found that when seeking to establish safety and connection for myself, communication is truly key. Establishing healthy communication with others is certainly incredibly important, and in order for me to communicate effectively with you, I must first learn to effectively communicate with myself.

When I refer to communication with myself, I mean that I must understand exactly what my needs are, in order to achieve my ultimate goal of safety. I must become aware, and I must have the courage to be open and vulnerable with myself first, in order to find out exactly what it is that I am seeking.

Once I have achieved this goal– which is by no means easy to begin with– I then have the ability to achieve the greater goal of effective communication with others.

Effective communication begins with open, honest, and truly vulnerable dialogue that specifically shares my needs with those I am intimate with, as these are the people that provide the ultimate safety and connection I need. Once we have successfully done this, we can then move on to sharing our needs with the world-at-large.

Ultimately, to create the greatest success, I have found that once I share– or ideally, before I share my needs– I must be truly curious as to what your needs are. I must sit and listen to you, and I must hear what you are saying to me. Only then am I able to create that safety for you, for my loved ones, and for the greater community.

How do you create safety and connection for yourself and for others? Do you have any suggestions or ideas on how I can do this better for myself, and for you?

This week, let’s be the leaders we wish others to be. Let’s strive to understand– then to be understood. Let’s truly be curious about ourselves and about one another, and let’s allow every person to have their voice, and to truly be heard.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love