With others, With yourself

Brené Brown’s Parenting Manifesto

This isn’t just for parents though. The manifesto can be tweaked to suit all kinds of close relationships.

It is a reminder that being vulnerable and authentic in our close relationships is fundamental to forming true connections. We can build others up by building ourselves up. We can teach our loved one to love themselves by being a walking example of self-love and respect. We can stop trying to take away the pain of others but instead, be there as their pillar to allow them to work through their feelings. It teaches me to stop expecting perfection from anyone in any aspect of life (including myself). It nudges me to be patient, kind, compassionate and understanding towards my loved ones so as to make life a little easier for them in an already chaotic world. 

Above all else, it speaks to me, to start being the vessel of love and light for others, by having the courage to start working on myself from inside out. Noone ever say that the process is going to be easy, straight-forward, instant, or shame-free. How liberating, empowering and scary is that realisation?

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With others

Give me a hug

Have you ever felt so down that when someone completely unsuspecting gave you a hug, you felt tears well up in your eyes?

It happened to me once when a complete stranger I met during work, an elderly woman, thanked me for looking after her and gave me a sincere hug before leaving the aircraft. I was having such a tough day but hid it behind a smiling facade that I felt like crying in gratitude for her kindness. 

You might think that it is weird to hug a stranger but we had such a good positive connection that it felt just right. She told me that she was from South Africa and I told her that it was my dream to visit her beautiful country. She looked me in the eye and told me to make my dreams come true, that they were important. She had such a grandmotherly vibe about her – kind eyes, wise words and a smile from the heart.

If you have ever experienced such a moment, you would understand how powerful that brief connection can be.

Afterall, a hug is a physical way to show someone that you care for them, wish them the best or (if you are seeing someone after some time) that you have missed them. 

The next time you really want to hug someone you love or care for, let your guard down and go for it. If you are not sure if the other person is receptive, just ask them, “Would you like a hug?” Or “Can I give you a hug?”. 

Pass on the gift of love and kindness! ❤