The past two weeks, Aaron and Lee have shared how one of the most important factors in relationships in getting “in here” to look at what gets in the way of realizing our own value when interacting with others, and from there, recognizing our own inherent goodness and value.

So often we determine our value by external factors such as accomplishments, how much money we make, and what others think of us. However, most of us have realized that always seeking that external validation doesn’t really work in the end. While we might feel good for a bit, we return to this feeling of unworthiness and continue to perpetuate the same patterns in our relationships.

It’s when we ourselves really get how beautiful and valuable we are that relationships, and life, begin to change.

While many of us understand this in theory— thinking, “Of course I know I need to love myself more!”— it often looks very different in our everyday life and in practice. So what can we do? How can we see our value in every part of who we are?

One of the most powerful things we do at COR workshops is we bring the darkness into the light. We share the parts of ourselves that we deem as unworthy, that we might be ashamed of, or that we’ve avoided most of our lives. Those parts of us that we think, “If anyone saw this, they’d leave me, or hate me, or (insert whatever answer that runs through your mind).” And we share these parts of ourselves in a safe space, with a community of loving individuals.

When I first came to COR Woman, I remember thinking I couldn’t show people my arrogant side, my anger, or my sadness. If people saw that, they wouldn’t love me or accept me; they’d run away. Eventually, I let down my mask of trying to appear perfect, and I let those “darker” parts of myself show to women at the workshop. And something miraculous happened— people didn’t hate me. In fact, they loved me even more.

That’s the thing. When we show up, and we show ALL of who we are, people end up loving us more. The parts of us that we deem as unlovable often end up being the thing that draws people the most to us because we are sharing something real.

So my invitation this week, dear reader, is to share a part of yourself that you fear people won’t like if you do so. And share this part with someone you feel safe with. Perhaps you share your sadness, your pain, or something you’ve been hiding.

Afraid to do so? Share that too. You could say something like, “I notice I’m afraid to share this because I’m afraid you’ll not like me if I do….”

Just share what is present for you and what is real for you in the moment, without the masks or defenses.

That is what helps us see our value; it’s sharing our true selves.The act of being honest and real frees us from the stories in our head that we aren’t good enough or worthy of love. It’s when we censure ourselves that we perpetuate the belief the parts of us are not valuable.

When we share all of ourselves, we get to see that those parts really aren’t unlovable, that others love and honor what is underneath our masks. And then we begin to see the value for ourselves. We get to know our own inherent goodness, regardless of what others might think.

This is a huge tool we at COR use in our own relationships as well. Often the act of being honest, sharing what is happening for you and your process, rather than saying the “right thing”, is the biggest breakthrough in relationships.

Much love to you and all of your parts,