The Human Nature of Connection

Every choice we make
And every road we take
Every interaction
Starts a chain reaction
We’re both affected
When we least expect it
And then when we touched
And it all connected
And then when we…

It’s embedded in us. I’d almost say it’s a part of our DNA, Connection is a basic human need. Connection, intimacy, belonging, being understood. If it’s so basic, so instinctive, so necessary… then why is it so rare?

We live in world surrounded by over 7 BILLION people. 7 Billion! How many do you know? Forget about how many you know, how many people around you can you say you have a close and meaningful relationship with? Usually this interaction is limited to our family and friends.

We like the idea of wearing our hearts on our sleeves, of being open and vulnerable to every possibility but in our moments of honesty, how much of ourselves do we really put out there? And how much are we expecting to receive?

I recently read a post by a stranger on the Humans of New York page, which said:

“Sometimes it feels like I’m not a part of anything. There are so many people here, you’d think that I’d be able to make friends with one of them. But it always seems like everyone has got their own thing going on, or their own group of friends that they hang out with. Most weekends I just take a long walk, or go to a restaurant by myself. I’ve done some neat things alone, and I’m glad that I did those things, but I’m really getting to the point where I’d also like to experience things with other people. Everybody tells me: ‘You should do this,’ or ‘You should do that.’ But nobody says ‘Let’s do this,’ or ‘Let’s do that.'”

This hit home. Now I don’t know this woman, but somehow she doesn’t feel like a stranger anymore. That’s because no one ever is. We are all just friends waiting to be reunited. At least that’s my Utopian mentality.

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”
— Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

I’ve said this before but they are people out there that we don’t know that we might have more in common with than our closest family members or friends. Someone going through the same process as us, thinking the same things, feeling the same things in different contexts.

This is the true nature of life, of humanity. This is the underbelly of society; in truth, we are invisibly connected by our thoughts and our emotions; by our energies.

Now, in my personal situation. I just moved to a new city and the buses and the subways are crowded, there’s people everywhere I look, but no one talks to anyone. I’ve joined organizations and groups linked with my interests and even these amazing people I’ve met only relate to me through that social circle.

There’s a sense of loneliness creeping into me. And i find it funny because deep down I know that I am not lonely. I am alone, yes but not lonely. I am everything I need, all that I seek. But I am also a creature of connection. I crave meaningful relationships with other human beings. It’s how I learn, how I grow. And i’m devoid of them.

“I enjoy controlled loneliness. I like wandering around the city alone. I’m not afraid of coming back to an empty flat and lying down in an empty bed. I’m afraid of having no one to miss, of having no one to love.” —Kuba Wojewódzki

I’m just looking for someone who would want to kidnap me at 2 a.m. to have an honest and full length conversation about life, about human beings, about stars, about where we are and how we feel, about dreams, to laugh, to cry, to share. Am I asking too much?

I don’t want to be one of those people. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to be the kind of person that breaks the silence. That tears down invisible walls. I’d want to be the person that says “Let’s do this”. I want to be the one to Find the Others. But sometimes I fall short.

I realized there’s nothing much that I need to do. I just need to be. Inevitably, we attract what we seek. Things come when they’re ready. When it’s meant to be. So the virtue of patience is all we really need and the courage to live authentically. To be you. To be me. The real you.

I have many friends and family, people I know on such a deep and personal level. Our connections are transcendental, not limited to physical space or time. They all live very far away from me. I’m always travelling and the fog of daily routine fills up our lives. Sometimes we don’t speak for weeks, months, even years. But when we do, it is a treasure.

They are people so close to us that mean so much to us, but do they know it? One thing that I am currently working on is cultivating my already existing relationships. Not because I take them for granted but because I can give & get so much more from them if I put in a little extra effort. And you know the people that are worth the effort.

Are you feeling lonely? Is there anyone in your life worth making an effort for? If so, are you making it? If so, how can you improve on it?

Maybe it’s just me but I’m pretty sure i’m not the only person on Earth to ever feel lonely. In those moments of loneliness, I remember the one relationship I will always have. The one with me. I implore you to get to know yourself. To seek the joy of your own company. The more you discover who you are the better you will relate to others and the easier you will attract things more aligned with your true self. 

PS! –

If you want to learn how to be alone without feeling lonely, click here (you won’t regret it)

Namaste.

Video

Black Dog Days Will Pass

In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression”.

How many of you have seen The Black Dog?
How many of you had kept it as a pet in your own home?
How many of you still take a walk with it everyday?

I do.

I’ve struggled with the black dog my entire life.

As a child, I wasn’t the most “ordinary” girl. The other girls wanted to play with Barbie dolls and go shopping, I wanted to climb trees and go exploring. The things that made me happiest or made me feel accomplished (attempting to climb a tree and actually reaching the top) were of no value to my parents. In fact, they would yell and be disappointed at my lack of lady-like mannerisms. That’s when the puppy appeared.

As a pre-teen, I was overweight. Acne and extra belly fat is a bad combination at any age… But at 10 it’s all too horrific. The puppy grew a little more.

As an adolescent, my everyday routine could be condensed into one word: Struggling.

I was at that age where I was able to assimilate all my thoughts and emotions, I was able to give them words and meanings. I was so tortured now that I think of it. I would bathe myself in hurt everyday. Everything would weigh me down. Not living up to expectations, not being pretty, not being smart enough, not being creative, gutsy, not knowing what I wanted to do, not taking risks. I missed out on a lot of my life because of fear. And then I hated myself for it. Plus, I was dealing with some serious self-denial about my sexuality. Plus, I had developed an eating disorder. To say the least, I was pretty suicidal in college.

That is why it humbles me down to my bones everyday to remember where I came from and to know that I’ve gotten to a beautiful place I like to call “This”. My present. My moment. To remember my limiting beliefs, my lack of self confidence, of self esteem, of emotion. You can read my “Confession” in my previous post Pain, My Mentor to know what I’m talking about. I’ve had to overcome a series of painful events in order to break free. But I’ve learned that’s how life works, isn’t it? The harder we fall, the higher we fly. 

Today, however, one of my long standing monsters is “Discipline”. Self-control has never been my forte. That’s why I can never stick to a schedule or a diet or a routine. That’s why I’ve been scrambling to find the time to meditate for weeks, that’s why I’ve been begging myself to sit down and write during the night because… I have no order. I have no discipline. I know what my problem is and what I need to do in order to improve on it… but some days I fall short. Very short. Luckily, I’ve learned the art of forgiving oneself so it keeps me afloat and I know that each day is a day for me to try again.

I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m a person that gets up and tries everyday to be better and that is good enough for me.

I know a lot of people are out there right now struggling. It hurts me to know that some are battling with no light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I could tell me that dark days don’t last forever, that the sun always shines. I wish I could tell them that they’re innocent and they’ve done no wrong, that it’s ok to just be down at times. I wish I could shine some light into their lives.

Please share this if you or someone you know is suffering from depression. Help shine the light and know for a fact that sadness doesn’t last. Before you know it…

The Art of Being Alone…

This charming video pays tribute to the happy wholesomeness of being alone. Tanya Davis recites her poem about the ways of solitude, gently cataloging all the places where ‘aloneness’ can bring freedom and healing. Whether at a lunch counter, park bench, mountain trail, or on the edge of a dance floor – all you have to do is love yourself enough, to love being alone.

Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.

I couldn’t have said it any better. I used to have a friend who confessed to me that she “hated being alone”. She couldn’t stand it. Since she was 14, she had been dating someone and it’s what she knew. When she broke up with her first boyfriend at 18, in less than a week she’d gotten another one. This succession continues until today. Her last breakup was four months ago and this time she was heartbroken. It took her longer to get back on her feet, to fill that empty space in her life. She found herself confronted with… herself. And she didn’t like what she saw. That’s when her whole world changed. She told me “If I don’t like my own company, If I’m afraid of my own thoughts, If I don’t enjoy being with myself how is anyone else going to do it?” That’s when she made a promise to herself.

“I want to fall in love with me so I can enjoy being with just me, I want to do things just for me. I want to be happy without relying on anybody.”

She quit her job, got a new career, a new car, new clothes and a brand new attitude to go with it. If you see this girl now you’d never think that she once hated being alone.

Being alone is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It opens up a portal to self-discovery. To awareness about yourself, who you are and your relationship to everything around you. It is inevitable to stumble upon your greatness, your depth, your beauty, your light. Don’t choose to be alone but if you find yourself in that situation, don’t see it as an inconvenience or a tragedy. Look at it as an opportunity to start dating and falling in love with yourself!

To read the entire poem you can visit this site.

To read my former post The Loudness In Silence, click here.

And remember, Loneliness and Solitude are very different things.