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4. Pray. Consider one of two prayers. Ask God simply and humbly to make you, as St. Francis once said, "an instrument of peace." Pray that you would be a blessing to others, pray for eyes to see the needs of women around you. Or pray for connection and friendship, for someone to extend the gift of companionship to you. Ask God to keep your heart open to this gift of others.

5. Journal. Recall a moment when you received love not because of your accomplishments or appearances but simply because someone noticed the good heart beating in your chest. Perhaps an old childhood friend, an encouraging teacher, parent, spouse, or your own child pointed out something simple yet poignant that nudged your soul. Like the time my daughter told me the lines (a.k.a. wrinkles) around my eyes made me look pretty. Or the fact that my own father still grins from ear to ear whenever I walk into the room. Journal a few thoughts on this acceptance. Fall asleep one night thinking about it. Recall the depths of that joy for a while and camp out there in your mind.

Excerpted from Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood by Tracey Bianchi. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.

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