Updated: Dec 22, 2020
What the heck is connection anyway? When we say something like "can't wait to connect!" Do we mean we can't want to make contact? Do we mean that we can't wait to dive deeper? Or do we mean that we are excited for the future and what's to come in our relating?
If you would have asked me what connection meant to me before I entered into this field of self-development and personal growth, I would have totally had some different associations about "connection" and a whole lot of misconceptions too. Before connecting to myself and establishing a relationship with who I truly am and what I really need, I was under the impression that connecting meant linking up, agreeing, being compliant, placating, laughing, having some sort of codependent dynamic in relationship, operating under high perfectionism, unrealistic expectations, shallow surfaces, an illusion of connecting through standards and a whole bunch of "shoulds" I would fail to live up to. Never did I imagine connection had ANYTHiNG to do with emotions and feeling. Spoiler alert!
If you were to ask me what connection means to me NOW, I would certainly be able to be honest about what I want from it and how it shows up in my life. My current version of connection has space for truth, depth, open understanding, vulnerability, individuation, accountability, creativity, embrace, uniqueness and unconditional acceptance.
When I am connecting truly and authentically, I get to experience emotions of not knowing, not feeling good enough, feeling exposure, feeling scared, feeling emptiness and feeling loneliness. Rest assured, I also get to experience feelings of joy, abundance, excitement, awareness and spaciousness. I get to be met on any level of connection even if discomfort arises. Not one end of the spectrum from challenging to comforting emotion is more valuable than another. This has been the best lesson I could have learned from connection. I get to connect in sadness and I get to connect in joy. Connection gets to exist everywhere. To me, this was so liberating to learn and embrace.
Connecting to myself in my own experience has been my priority. When I can connect to myself, I have the ability to connect to others. My fears of rejection and abandonment keep me from connecting. I feel scared to put myself out there because it requires me to have feelings about something new! There is a possibility of me feeling humiliated, overwhelmed, at a loss or out of control. Let's face it. Anything could happen. And it is normal and okay that I feel this way. The irony of what holds me back can also limit my success for connection. This part is always important to remember because sometimes actually doing the thing holds less fear than the fear itself! I ask myself if I can transform the fear into something tangible. The truth happens when I can demonstrate something different, make mistakes and own who I am in my worth and in my full integrity.
When children, partners, friends or family members want to connect, taking a look at their behaviors and examining what they are trying to communicate to is step one. What is their tone like? Are they making eye contact? Do they desire to be close or distant? Is their energy activated or deflated? How are we willing or unwilling to make contact in the moment? Can we voice what we want and what we need out of the experience?
As for step two: I want you to name your observations and how you are noticing yourself and your person in the situation. "I noticed... I am curious; what your experience was like in regards to..." or "I am curious; what did you think about ...", "I wish...", "I need..." because when we notice and name what we think, feel and sense- we can really foster and create awareness around us, for us and for who we are making space to relate to. Remember, naming these things aloud can be awkward or even weird if it's the first time you are doing this. It's okay. Keep practicing. Journal about it. Sing about it. Walk about it. Dance about it. Whatever fits your nature and your style.
How are you creating connection in your life?
In what ways do you want to show up differently?
Stay conscious, or not! Keep me posted.
I love you,