Connections & disconnections
My last piece was about making connections, to ourselves and to one another. As I pondered on writing this week I considered the opposite of connection, disconnection and it’s effect.
There is a lot spoken and written about disconnection in modern times, when we are materially and technologically more connected than ever. I find it interesting that such a questions needs to be posed, as it takes us to a place where we must look to ourselves and our threads to one another. How do we keep connections? What investment do we make in supporting strong and healthy connections? What can we do to keep our connections?
The ability to reach out when in need and sharing mutual challenges is one of the most powerful ways of feeling understood, which is ultimately what being connected is all about. To feel heard by another person is about a sense of experiencing being near to the core of yourself and the meaning that you attach to what you are feeling, whilst at the same time being near to another. If I am understood by another person, through my ability to share my innermost experiences, I am allowing a light to be shone on me and my vulnerability. This by definition is about connection, as I am being seen by another person.
When we are disconnected we are broken off, isolated, possibly withdrawn. It can make the world seem hostile, others in it, foreign to us. How can we understand ourselves or the world we live in if we feel no-one understand us? There is a real visceral need for sharing our experiences; the question is how it’s done.
I know as a therapist that this is a very challenging prospect for many. Some people, throughout their lives, have never had the experience of being heard, of being seen. If that has been the case, their knowledge supports the idea that there aren’t people to trust with delicate truths. It can lead to the person’s internal and external world being fragmented and painful. However, when the right person is chosen the risk pays off. An inner opening is encountered and room for change is made. Getting to this place is a journey but one that is highly rewarding and one that does not have to travelled alone.
There is great comfort in knowing that someone cares about what happens to you, but as I have written about before, we must also care about what happens to ourselves. This internal/external connection is how we make ourselves understood and must be channelled simultaneously. Do we ever reflect on how we present ourselves to another, is how I am connecting now a congruent me? Is it relatable to what is really going on underneath the noise?
‘When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lost touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world’ Eckhart Tolle.
In a world that invites, perhaps on occasion demands availability, how do we draw a balance on being equally available to ourselves as to another? As humans who share the planet, there is a precious thread between us and inside of us, we must nourish both as they are what keep us connected to what it is to be alive.