I grew up on a diverse street where my family was the minority. It never bothered me or even crossed my mind, but I had many encounters with those who did seem to be bothered by others who were not the same as they were.
As a little girl, I loved orchestrating various human endeavors. From bringing my sisters and neighborhood kids together to act and participate in various skits and plays that we had dreamed up, to just having fun being in the moment of connection, laughing and talking and embracing each other’s uniqueness.
My parents were always right there with the video camera, recording all the fun we were having as we made fools of ourselves. Somethings happened over time, however, that caused me to lose touch with who I am, with what I love to do, perhaps even with what I was born to do–I have been rekindled to my purpose of gathering people together for a common cause and to create experiences, connection and inclusion.
One simple example I remember, was having two friends in elementary who were of different religions and races and they seemed to hate each other. They would fight about who gets to play with me and so I first tried to alternate days, but no matter which day it was, the other friend would be mad at me. Finally, I said enough is enough! We either all play together nicely, or I won’t play with either of you. Why can’t you see that we can have more fun if we all play together?
Over time, experiences like this, as well as many other, kept flooding into my life. And this is only one aspect of my disconnection, but the topic I want to address. I often felt that I was in a tug of war between various ethnic or religious groups. It seemed that no matter who I was friends with or how I behaved, there was always a critic. Many other experiences and heartaches outside of this topic also left me reeling and feeling worthless. The external critics eventually became my internal negative dialogue and this, coupled with loss, fear, tragedy and various human experiences that many of us share, but often are too afraid or too embarrassed to talk about, brought me to a point where I was broken and disconnected. Life just seemed to weigh down upon my heart so heavily that I unwittingly began to build walls around me. These walls seemed to keep me “safe” but truthfully they were disconnecting me on many levels.
This gradual process kept pressing more and more heavily upon me until one day I was faced with the realization that I had become completely disconnected from myself, and from others.
My awakening, years ago, took me on a journey of breaking down my own walls which separated me from myself, and from others, and in time I realized what was desperately missing in my life was accepting my perfectly imperfect self, and opening my heart once again to connection. I’ve also learned to not be afraid if others find out that I’m human-you know-just a regular girl who makes plenty of mistakes and is trying to learn from them instead of hide in fear of them.
It is unnerving to connect when disconnection has been your companion for such a long time that it has a well worn pathway into your heart and mind. The sad thing is that on the outside, I was a good actress. I could smile and serve and try to lift others, but on the inside I felt as though I were seeing my life through the eyes of a stranger. I was depressed, disconnected and detached from my own emotions.
My personal journey of breaking down walls has breathed life back into me and I have felt so passionate about learning to reconnect that I’ve been sharing my story to various groups both regionally and globally and have been overwhelmed with the feedback of how disconnected many men, women and children feel for various reasons and on a variety of levels. Because of this feedback, last October I decided to write a book about my journey in order to help more people.
As with anything, writing a book has been yet another journey in and of itself, and although I will continue writing, I realize that I can’t get this book out fast enough! My book takes the reader along with me on my journey of learning to reconnect with myself, to reconnect with loved ones, reconnect with my community and eventually connect with citizens of humanity in global ways.
I do believe that this journey was guided by a higher power as I am not clever enough to have done this on my own. It was in a moment of pondering what I can do to share this message with even more women, to begin with, that the idea of the Women’s Summit was born.
This event was designed to take women through the journey of connection; of connecting with self and loved ones, as well as connecting with community with women globally. I have gathered a diverse group of presenters to share their personal insight and stories in an effort which is sure to break down walls between ourselves and between each other and to create a safe place where we can be vulnerable, stretch ourselves and each other a bit, and build authentic connection and simply embrace each other’s uniqueness and learn from each other.
I invite you to join me in “Breaking Down Walls and Building Connection” and I sincerely look forward to connecting with you!
Event: April 28, 2018!
xoxo, Charity Haderlie
Breaking Down Walls and Building Connection
March 13, 2018