Connection is essential to feeling loved. We chase away loneliness when we choose to reach out to connect with people in the simplest of ways, eye contact, a smile, touch or an honest share of our feelings. Connections make life meaningful; contribute to our sense of belonging and feeling seen.
In December I was reflecting on past holidays as I decided what I wanted to create for my own experience. On one side of my family, I looked forward to being together because there was connection. We connected through conversation, music, crafts, games and sharing a meal. On the other side of my family, holidays weren’t negative but gathering together was sort of mundane. Family members didn’t know how to connect. It didn’t seem anyone looked forward to spending time together. People went through the motions of preparing a meal and opening gifts because that’s all they knew. It felt lonely even within a group of people I loved.
Love and connection is a two-way street. It requires two participants to be willing, interested and open to revealing themself. It can be vulnerable and not always comfortable to connect. Reaching out to connect can be misinterpreted because people have different points of reference. We may be distrusted, seen as intrusive or manipulative based on the recipient’s experiences/projections or if our energy comes from a place of neediness. More powerful than our resistance to trust connecting with others is the essential need we all have to be seen and accepted for who we truly are, to be loved and validated for our essence without contingencies.
Connection in current culture requires some effort and intention. Our worlds aren’t designed to be inter-dependent, rather independent. We are taught to be self-reliant and not ask too much from others. We are taught distrust of strangers. A sense of community has to be sought out and is no longer organically part of our cultural experience.
There is so much constantly happening around us that we often either let the vibration of our environment direct our feelings or find ways to check-out to tolerate it. The habit of maintaining a certain degree of distance in operating in the world, to keep our energetic sanity, also deprives us of the vitality offered through connections. Connections can only be fulfilling and sustainable if they come with healthy energetic boundaries.
Connection can be as simple as looking someone in the eye and smiling as we pass them by. Acknowledging them, seeing them rather than leaving them in the periphery of our experience. No matter what I am doing, if I feel connected, whether it is to a person, an animal, nature or God, I experience life as very rich and fulfilling.
When I notice myself feeling lonely or wondering about life’s meaning, I ask myself, how can I connect in a way that brings me into greater alignment with myself? What can I offer in the connection so it is balanced and mutually beneficial? When I reach out to connect, my energy always shifts in a positive way. My spirit drops deeper into my body. I relax, feel more peaceful and purposeful.