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  • Writer's pictureDeirdre Maloney


I had someone ask me awhile back to describe myself in three words. I mulled it over for a few minutes, self-reflecting on what I thought were my best attributes. Compassionate came to mind quickly; I consider myself to be a person who deeply feels and senses other’s pain. This is a gift I received from my childhood trauma.

After being brushed aside, abused, and eventually addicted to drugs, I had to come to terms with a very dark past during my mid-life awakening. Being able to love and forgive myself, even though I didn’t think I was deserving of it for many years, helped me to cultivate compassion. Also knowing how it felt to be judged, shamed, and left behind, gave me a perspective on how challenging life can be for others.

Courageous was next on the list. I have been a fighter my entire life. I started out as a rage filled warrior, ready to tear down people, and institutions. Slowly as maturity and healing rose within me, a new warrior emerged, one that fights with love and light, wishing well upon all. When I reflect on my mindset as a teen and into my twenties I feel like I’m looking back on someone else’s life. The anger, hatred, and negative thoughts that used to stir within me are so far removed - it’s like watching a movie you’ve seen twenty times over. True Romance or Pretty Woman anyone?

My third answer was harder to come by and I wanted to respond quickly, I decided that three words starting with the same letter would work. Stumped for the right word I came up with cute, and got called a sell-out. I never thought much about this again…until today. I was running some errands early in the morning and decided I would listen to some inspiring content. I pulled out my phone and opened my Audible app. Flipping through I passed books by Esther Hicks, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Jack Canfield. Then I came across one of Brene Brown’s first books, it may even be her first, ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’. I love Brene’s work; she speaks my heart. Words that come out of her mouth feel like they are meant for me and listening to her brings me a great deal of comfort. I had listened to this book before, possibly twice, but it was just as captivating as though I had never heard a word of it before. Well, I definitely don’t remember her speaking of the three C’s. Compassion, Courage, and Connection. Connected! That was my missing C word. Again, Brene was speaking my heart.

Connected was the perfect fit to round me off in the sum of three words. I crave connection. Having a deep sense of meaningful belonging in my community and relationships is a top priority. I truly believe that we all desire this. Even when my lifestyle choices were very poor I was desperately seeking connection. Thinking back on that time I find it really interesting how I continually attracted negative partners, friends, and experiences. The unhealthy mindset drew in the unhealthy people. The fear of not belonging kept me there.

My new book, ‘Unfold Me’, embodies courage, compassion, and has a huge focus on my recovery happening through deep connection. Brene spoke of these three C’s as being the qualities needed to live a wholehearted life. Part three of my book is entitled ‘Wholehearted’, and the final chapter is, ‘A Wholehearted Life” – I love how it’s all coming full circle. When we are open to receiving signs from the universe they are always there. Todays sign reminds of where I have been, where I am, and where I’m heading in this blessed life of mine.

Currently, I’m in a place where my mental health is doing very well and I’m attracting the most amazing humans into my life. Powerful positive thinking and manifesting has me surrounded by people that uplift me and make me feel like I can safely be compassionate, courageous, and connected. I still think I’m cute too ;)

What would your three words be?

Be Well.

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