This blog post will look at connections-internal and external connections-how we relate to ourselves and how we are in the world, the relationships we have and the way we share experiences.
There are many definitions and associations to the word connection and they merit spending some time considering- links and belonging, then there is the whole idea of making connections, threads between people, there is also interconnectedness. Connections are very powerful and the stronger they are, internally and externally, the more resilient and participatory we are in the world.
It is really important that we make internal connections. Our emotional life is our map in this realm. Feelings tell us how we are engaging with what we are experiencing, they guide our reactions/actions/inaction. They give us meaning to our place in the world.
Feelings act as indicators of something needing to be attended to. They are clues to how we understand what’s going on and how we might decide what to do or not to do. We must have a channel open internally to receive the information we are being given. This channel develops when we are babies and it is through our relationships with others as infants, that we develop a relationship with ourselves.
Different parts of our brain which control our emotional intelligence develop when we are very young and interestingly, the part that helps us manage our emotions is also the part that helps us read and respond to emotional cues in other people. It is also developed after we are born and is reliant on our interaction with another/others. So, we cannot develop a healthy emotional life on our own and this is how it is throughout our lives. We are continually influenced by and influencing those around us. It is through this continually revolving motion that we move through the world.
By using the information that emotions give us, we will support and strengthen our connections with not only with ourselves but with others. If we are aware of the impact those emotions have on us and their expression will have on others, we are healthily connected.
The ability to reflect on our emotions and learn from them is a significant impetus in our relationships with other people. When we meet ourselves, we can meet another person. This then can be expanded out into the collective understanding of what it is to be human. How we have connections on a bigger scale. When people gather and share an experience, like sport, theatre, mass, festivals, there is an unspoken understanding of plugging into a shared emotional experience. It is visceral.
Another aspect to this is the sense of belonging shared experiences engender. For that moment we all belong and understand what the next person is feeling, the highs, the lows. It is a vital aspect to being human and it translates again to the smaller more intimate moments between two people; the wonder of how one person can understand and sometimes feel what another person is going through and
There are many ways to look at connection and it is something that I will develop further in the coming weeks.