When I really connect with people I feel my best. When my day consists of interactions that are real, rich and connective, my day is so much better. You?
Connecting doesn’t always mean having some deep and insightful conversation. Although I do love getting deep and real, I also love “just” connecting. Laughing super hard, being silly, joking around, a glance, a touch, a vibe, an energy, a comment, a way someone looks at you, a compliment. Straight up, down right connecting with someone else is what I’m talking about.
Some of my favorite moments of connection have happened with total strangers. You don’t have to know someone to connect with them. Sometimes it’s just a synchronistic smile, glance, giggle, or shared awkward moment that makes you feel connected to someone you don’t know. This can happen from a distance without ever talking to another person. Very powerful connections can happen with no words being exchanged at all. Those are often the best.
Feeling connected can make you feel alive. Having connective relationships and moments in your life can really UP the quality of your life.
Connection is what makes the world function. It’s what life is all about. The better you are at connecting with others, the more rich and full your life will be.
So, what if you've lost your trust and faith in others and are weary about connecting too deeply? What if you've been burned one too many times and have become comfortable with not allowing others to get too close? Once you've been hurt it's a logical solution to conclude that you must be careful about letting others "in." Right? The problem with this is, in all reality, life is all about new experiences that involve interacting with others. Very often, if not always, the best connections occur when you are 100% open to another: A completely pure connection. So, what are you supposed to do here if you are frightfully uncomfortable with opening yourself up to others?
In the most simple way I can say it, here is my answer: You're going to have to endure being uncomfortable in order to get beyond your avoidance of connection. The thing is, life is full of all sorts of experiences. Some include being disappointed and let down. Sometimes it's by people whom we put a lot of our trust in. It's so easy to want to shut down, close up and decide that you never want to open and trust fully again. I get it. It makes sense, but it's not the best choice. The problem with keeping others at arms length is that it leaves you navigating this world with a part of you numbed out. When you are holding on to past hurt, you can't fully be present with who or what you're doing now. So you have two choices: Work to get through the discomfort in order to have deeper connections or keep going with a "thorn in your side." Obviously, the healthier choice is the one that requires self growth and courage from you. Which one will you choose?
Not that it matters, but I encourage you to pick the road that requires you to dig inward, look at your stuff and get through it in order for you to have limitless possibilities for your relationships.
On a lighter note, to bring the topic back to the simplistic art of connection, perhaps take some time to experiment with connecting by allowing yourself to be aware and open to exchanges with others. Play around with this to experience the power of connectivity for yourself. Make a point to look people deeply in the eyes. Ask someone how they are when standing in a line. Smile at the guy or gal you pass on your run. What do you have to lose by making efforts to be more open with others?
My thought is this........nothing.
* The above image was taken by Amy Lynn Bjornson, a San Diego based photographer.