Prioritizing Connection

Being understood by someone is the best feeling in the world.  Being known feels like being loved.  Times in my life where people really get me make me feel alive.  I feel the worst when I haven’t been understood deeply.  Not being witnessed feels like abandonment and isolation. To feel reasonably happy I need to make an effort to share with people what is really going on and how I am feeling.  Otherwise I am just flesh walking around the earth bumping into things having insignificant experiences.  Connection happens when people pause for a moment in time to talk and feel each other deeply.  To be attuned is the greatest feeling in life.  I need to be attuned with my friends, family, coworkers, clients, fellow students, teachers.  It would be nice if we all just took more time to attune to each other.  How do we attune?  How does attunement work?  How can I try to make someone feel understood?  It starts with space.  We need to be aligned in space and time.  That means talking on the phone or in a coffee shop or a class room or where ever together.  When we make eye contact and hear each other, then the space is created.  Ideally it must be uninterrupted for a period of time.  We must pause our thinking and move to our heart space together.  One heart connecting to another heart.  When we share from a feeling space, then we are connecting.  When I know you, then I love you.  I have been thinking a lot about that lately.  When someone is having a crazy bad day or their personal life is in turmoil, then they are unable to be present for you- that’s when they need you most- when they are their most unfit selves.  I used to take these people so personally.  Like they were being assholes to me on purpose to make my life a living hell.  Since then I have developed insight and compassion.  It is really hard in the moment to have compassion, but if we can selflessly move out of the way so that someone can be heard, if we can create a psychological air and ask them how they are really doing, then love can be created.  When people feel loved then they feel held.  It is like a parent responding to an infant at the right moment with just the right touch and providing for the right need.  When people gossip about others, it is usually because the “other” has behaved in an unacceptable way.  If only we could stop what we were doing, approach the “other” and provide them emotional support for what they are going through.  I could sit in groups all day and help people to feel loved and support.  To patiently wait while they sift through the shit in their lives to get to the golden nuggets of honest raw feelings.  I live for this.  I live for this deep kind of connection.  This realness.  This feeling that we are not alone, that there is more to life than the coming and going of daily business.  We are in it together.  We are not alone.  To sit with someone and remind them that they are not alone and we are there for them is love.  Providing an ear and a gentle touch is kindness in action.  To sacrifice a couple hours of our day to be there for others…imagine if everyone in the world did this?  Imagine if group therapy and individual therapy was required!  Imagine if we didn’t need to pay therapists, but rather we provided each other with emotional support and comfort.  I used to let it all build up and it would explode out in anger; when what was underneath the anger was pain, hurt, loneliness.  To daily connect with each other in honest, open, and vulnerable ways- that is community.  There’s a reason we don’t live on separate islands quietly by ourselves: we need each other.  Let’s meet each others needs today.  If we all put in just a little effort the world would be a better place to live.  The domino effect comes into play here.  We help one person and their whole little community is affected.  As cliche as it sounds, we need to be the change we want to see in the world.  I know it starts with me.  I need to be kind and understanding and give life to the people closest to me, and let them in on what is going on in my life so it doesn’t build up.  What it comes down to is intentionality.  We must be intentional if we are going to have these kinds of spaces in our lives.  We have to create them, schedule them if need be, insist that they happen.  Prioritizing connection is imperative.  How are you really? 

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