Having lived in Colorado most of my life, an observation I have made is that “Denverites” are often transient people. We move quickly from one thing to the next. We seek out the new hip coffee shop or the popular brewery around the corner. We spend large amounts of money on new ski-wear and attempt to cross off another 14er on our list. It is no surprise that Denver is now known as one of the worst cities to find love. As Brene Brown puts it, the cultural message everywhere is that “an ordinary life is a meaningless life.” Over and over we receive the message that we must be doing more in order to be fulfilled and enough. We believe we are only as good as our Instagram posts and the likes we receive. Often “grandiosity, entitlement, and admiration-seeking feel like just the right balm to soothe the ache of being too ordinary and inadequate.”

As I have spent countless hours sitting and listening to hurting and broken people, the desire I hear over and over is the longing for connection. We are wired to know and be deeply known by those around us however, very few, especially in the midst of COVID feel known. It is when we feel that we are not loved or do not belong, when we often seek out and search for temporary fixes. We live out of scarcity, the never enough problem; never smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, good enough; and the list goes on. Brene Brown goes on to say that “the opposite of scarcity is enough, or wholeheartedness; which at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness, facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks knowing that I am enough.” Brene is saying in order to actually get around the temporary fixes, isolation, and loneliness, we must risk ourselves. We must share.

I will say in my own life, the most fulfilled and connected I have felt were during seasons when I allowed myself to slow down, speak words of worthiness over myself (practice self love), and allow myself to be known by those around me. You, my friend, are worth being known. Here are a few tips to practice self-love: SLOW DOWN to notice joy, the simple things, lean into it. Practice GRATITUDE, write a list of things you are thankful for. Be warm and understanding towards yourself. Practice MINDFULNESS, make sure you are not overidentifying with your thoughts and feelings. Give yourself PERMISSION to feel. Share with a friend how you are really doing, chances are, they will share with you too. Its okay to be human.

**The information contained herein is not therapeutic advice nor a substitute for therapy. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any mental health problem. If you are located within the United States and you need emergency assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are located within Colorado you may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-TALK (8255).

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