We want others to like us.

We feel good when others like and approve of us. It fulfills our need for fellowship and connection. And positive interactions with others—of any species—are healthy.

The issue arises when we are willing to sacrifice ourselves or deny our own nature in order to win approval. Our desire to belong can lead us to represent ourselves or turn ourselves into something we’re not.

This ache for belonging arises in separation consciousness—the belief that we and all creation are flawed and separate from each other and the divine. When we experience divine interconnection, however fleetingly, via contemplative practices, we are able to fulfill our longing not to be separate and alone.

That isn’t to say that interaction with others isn’t desirable, but a sense of divine interconnection allows us to do so without neediness. We celebrate our own and others’ unique natures in our congress with them.

Today’s message reminds me to offer my authentic self in interactions with others. It is the most precious gift I have to give.

Please reflect and share. Do you ever hide behind a mask in your interactions with others?