|  Blog Post   |  We were made to connect

We were made to connect

Yesterday I headed home after two days speaking in Dallas. Monday when I flew out I did not feel hopeful about this world. I was surrounded by people in the airport and yet it felt like everyone around me was honestly dead inside. Of course, people have work to do and their phones are more entertaining except this was different. No one was engaging with one another.

No one.

It felt haunting, sad, and like everyone was truly out of reach to the point of hopelessness.

So I sat, without my phone and like a total weirdo tried to make eye contact with as many people as possible. Full genuine smile from behind my mask with crinkled eyes and eye contact just long enough to make someone a bit uncomfortable.

Because it was in that tiny moment that I have no doubt they felt seen, and so did I. In that fleeting and purposeful moment we connected.

We are not dead inside. And the last two years may have done some incredible damage. And even if it can feel like we are out of reach of one another or beyond weary right now…

We need each other.
We were made to connect.
Connection is how we heal.
And it’s our power to get through this.

My trip was filled with some of the most authentic and brave conversations. From my Uber drivers to hotel managers to servers to managers in corporations to the CEOs of corporations.

Conversations about it all.

How we show up.
How hard the world is.
How tired we are.
How much we’ve lost.
And how much we miss one another.

Authentic, wholehearted, we are all messy humans in a wild world who don’t need to be fixed and simply need to feel seen and loved kind of conversations.

Not all about thinking the same.
Or feeling the same.
Or believing the same.

Simply humanity.

This was my first travel and in personal events in a long time. It was also my first back to back long teaches post-tongue surgery and in a recovery that is finally making headway even if covid set me back more than I’d like.

Maybe it was how tired my body felt, or how full my heart was, or this empty row on my flight home, the glass of wine I had before boarding, or simply love and grace…I was undone and in tears on my way home yesterday.

I am thankful.
I am hopeful.
And I have no doubt love and connection is our resilience and power back to one another.

In other words, I’m about to get even more annoying about courage <3


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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