A Little Disconnected
During the recent holidays, we had a wonderful opportunity to connect with loved ones near and far, whether that was with family, friends or both. We shared good food, gifts and laughter. But, perhaps the thing we shared that was the most enjoyable and valuable to us was the camaraderie .¨ a closeness that I believe we all want more than just a few times a year. But, the holidays are over now and as we return to the daily grind .¨ getting the kids off to school, returning to work, getting back to whatever we were doing before the holidays .¨ we tend get a little disconnected until the next holiday or special occasion comes around. Our busy days turn into busy months and before we know it, an entire year passes without making time for the beautiful connections to others. Let’s make this year different. Let’s not wait 12 months to have a fabulous dinner with the good china or find a special gift for someone you love. Let’s take the time to connect with each other throughout the year.
There is vast beauty on this planet in the form of majestic mountains, peaceful, babbling brooks and picture perfect sunrises and sunsets. There are beautiful flowers, animals and trees and skies. But, perhaps one of the most beautiful things on the planet is the human connection. Sure, it is bumpy and challenging at times, but, it also warms our heart and makes us feel part of a whole. That connection, whether it is one-on-one or with a group, brings us a sense of belonging, which from the perspective of psychology, is one of our basic needs, like food or water.
When we get busy we let life drag us around rather than being the creators of our life experience. In our busy mode of doing, doing, doing, we spend little time being. In the busy mode, it is a lot easier to lose that connection to others. This is also a place where we tend to focus on what separates us or makes us different rather than what brings us together or connects us. A dog-eat-dog world of business, uptight soccer parents and shopping for the next “must-have” item does that to us. But, there is a life beyond all of that and we got a glimpse of it when we were together during the holidays .¨ when we had the pleasure of just being with others.
The Beauty of Connections
In a world where most of us feel alone and lonely, connections with others can close that gap for us and bring us back into balance. But, we have to make that a priority in our lives. We have to get out of the rut of busyness, different and separate. This might take a little planning and practice, but we can do it. Certainly our heart wants to.
We are good at being busy. Some of us are busy to hide the pain of what our minds think when we are not busy. Some of us may be busy busting our backsides to make ends meet and others may be busy carrying out lifelong dreams. The reasons we get busy run the gamut. Whatever the reason, it is time for us to get a little less busy and soothe our heart and soul with more meaningful interpersonal connections. That means less television and more dinners with loved ones, less texting and more actual phone calls and even less phone calls and more face-to-face meetings.
It’s easy to feel different and separate from others. We have been trained to look for the imperfections in ourselves, so we tend to look for them in others. This creates the illusion of different. When we feel different, we don’t feel connected with each other. But, there is no need to look for imperfections because we are all the same deep down. Underneath the fa‚àö√üade of clothes, hair, make-up, job titles, financial status, we are equal in every way.
If we stripped away all of the things we think make us different, better than or worse than others, we would be left with just human beings .¨ a species on planet Earth. Perhaps it would help us make more connections with others if we stopped looking at what we think makes us different and see what really makes us the same. That way we can drop the walls that only serve to make us feel disconnected, alone and lonely.
The beauty of being connected is that we are feeding our heart rather than our mind. Not that connections aren’t great places for learning and sharing. But, looking at each other through the eyes of love and with the intent of connecting with one another allows us the opportunity to feel like we belong with everyone we meet and all those we already know. It is up to each one of us to shift our perspective to one that allows beautiful connections with others more than just a few times a year.
3 Ways to Connect Today
Albert Einstein said: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
A true human connection means we are wholly embracing each other, equally giving and receiving without judgment as we provide an exchange of energy that makes each one feel valued, strong and fulfilled. However, many of our connections currently aren’t like this. They are one-sided and guarded. Let’s drop the facades, the judgments and the pretenses and connect more today. Here are three ways you can connect with others:
- Accept yourself as you are. You are valuable. You have something to share with others that is important and meaningful. Don’t let your mental ideas of yourself keep you from connecting with others. Though we have been taught to think we are not good enough, this is a lie. Don’t buy into this lie any longer. You are not better, nor are you worse, than any other person on the planet. Focus on your strengths .¨ everyone has them .¨ and then go out there and share those strengths with others. We all have different strengths. When we share those with each other, we are stronger as a whole. We all need each other.
- Accept others as they are. It is a skill we must develop because it is not part of our mental training. We tend to look at others and judge them for what they wear, how they talk, what they believe in, what they think is best for themselves and so on. Let this go. It is not meaningful or helpful when making connections with others. We all have a right to our ideas and opinions. Let’s allow each other to live with those in peace.
One of the greatest things we can do is validate each other by accepting different lines of thinking about life. Accepting someone else’s ideas doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. It means you allow them to think what they want to think and you can think what you want to think. Neither is right or wrong. So, instead of undermining each other, ridiculing each other and separating us from each other, we can just enjoy each other. It takes practice, but you can do it. Listen to someone without taking anything personally. Live and let live.
- Set an Intention for connection. When you spend time with others, remember what the connection is really meant to do .¨ soothe your soul and bring joy to your heart. Don’t get caught up in being better, bragging or being right. Get caught up in connecting, learning, sharing and being together. This is what we really want in our heart. Set an intention to be open and accepting. But, most of all, set an intention to just have fun .¨ to laugh .¨ to be silly and to experience joy with another person. That is all that is needed.
If we are going to connect with each other on a more regular basis, we have to make some adjustments. But, the adjustments are worth it because of the joy that comes from making connections with others each day. We don’t need a holiday or a special occasion to connect with each other. We can connect throughout the year. Set an intention to meet monthly or quarterly for no reason other than to have fun and enjoy being together. It will enhance your life more than you can imagine!