Acceptance Opens my Heart

by Isabel Khudr, student

I cannot think of a better time to have immersed myself into Open Circles community. During the school year I had limited myself from attending Open Circle events because I knew that I would be shedding light onto parts of myself that I was not ready to deal with. Open Circle was the first place I turned when my life came crashing down (dramatically enough, I thought I lost everything that was important to me). I realized how little I paid attention to what my inner voice was telling me and how much attention I put into materialistic things.

I joined the Becoming Yourself Series this spring, in hopes to learn how to connect with my inner self and with others who were wishing the same. Honestly, I was not expecting how much of myself would be uncovered. I had never looked at myself as someone who is self-critical at ALL, I thought the amount of care I gave myself was enough. As Marybeth exposed us to self-compassion meditations and exercises, I was shocked to learn I had barely been self-compassionate! This was the biggest learning lesson for me during the past four months of BYS, and since being awakened to this I have recognized patterns of behaviors that are a result of not giving myself enough love.

Another incredible thing that has come out of being part of the community is the lovely people I have met along the way. Before Open Circle, I would find myself stuck in shallow conversations that brought me nothing but dreaming I was somewhere else. I could not find people I could converse with on topics that were helpful in awakening my inner self. I can truthfully say the joy I have when I login to an Open Circle event is one that I rarely experienced before. Having a space where one is heard and accepted has allowed me to open up my heart and see others experiencing the same thing.

I am grateful to be involved in Open Circle, I tell all my friends and family how being part of the community has created a new chapter in my life. I feel much more confident in who I am as well as feeling as though I have found a community that has and will ultimately be one that has had the most life changing impact.