That one thing is the belief in our own worthiness.
It is as simple and complicated as this:
If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.
When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness--the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging.
When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from parts of our lives that don't fit with who we think we are supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving.
Our sense of worthiness--that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging--
lives inside of our story.
You are worthy now.
Now when this or that happens.
Not if. Not when.
Right this minute.
In addition to letting go of the 'ifs' and 'whens', another critical piece of owning our story and claiming our worthiness is cultivating a better understanding of love and belonging.
Oddly enough, we desperately need both but rarely talk about what they really are and how they work.
As much as we need and want love, we do not spend much time talking about what it means.
Think about it. You might say, "I love you." every day.
When is the last time you had a serious conversation with someone about the meaning of love?
In this way, love is the mirror image of shame.
We desperately do not want to experience shame, and we are not willing to talk about it. Maybe we are afraid of topics like love and shame.
Most of us like safety, certainly, and clarity.
Shame and love are grounded in vulnerability and tenderness.
A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all women, men, and children.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from this offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.
Brene Brown - The Gifts of Imperfection