It is no secret that we are hardwired for connection and belonging. The good news and the challenging news is that this is only accomplished through relationships with other folx. You don’t have to look too far whether it is on the internet, social media, or your local bookstore, to find stacks upon stacks of information on how to navigate relationships. This tells me that although it is integral to our own survival, the application of being in relationship with another person is not always easy. Now when I say relationship I mean any sort of one on one interaction, whether brief or extended, committed or just passing through. Any place where my stuff shows up in front of someone else’s stuff. I believe now more than ever we are called to a different vantage point when it comes to relationships. In order for us to have any chance of a sustainable life together we must begin to take responsibility for how we show up in each and every relationship we encounter. Now as prescriptive as I may want to make this for other folx, I must first take a close look at myself. What part do I play and what is mine to do in all the interactions of my life? What areas are calling for greater compassion, listening, understanding, and openness? When I begin to get curious about the answers to these questions I can bring a nurturing presence to all of my relationships. I can begin to exercise not responsibility for people, but instead responsibility to people. Notice the subtle difference between those two ideas. When I begin to expand my awareness of my responsibility to people then I can begin to see and invite folx to be exactly as they are. I open the door to authenticity and vulnerability, which creates the framework for connection and belonging. This is what our world needs now, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now. Together we can truly begin to create something beautiful, a world where authenticity is the norm, and connection and belonging are held in such high esteem that we will settle for nothing less.