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Deeper Connections

How reconnecting changes everything!

When babies fail to thrive its often because they haven’t been touched, spoken to, or noticed. In a time when cell phones connect and disconnect us, social media has replaced person to person interaction, mothers are looking less at their infants, a date can look like two people sitting across from one another peering into their phones rather than into each other’s eyes, it’s understandable how lonely and disconnected many folks feel.

'Antonio Guillem/123RF', ' Stock Photo,Used with permission.'
Pay attention: Please
Source: 'Antonio Guillem/123RF', ' Stock Photo,Used with permission.'

No matter how old you are, from elders to youngsters, there is a hunger, a noticeable craving for connecting with people. Deeper Connections. Person to person, heart to heart, feeling another person’s charisma or energy or admiration or angst: This is all part of connecting with people. Funny how the social media platform, LinkedIn, that’s all about connection, right? Relatedness, right? Yet, even though it links us within business platforms, does it link us, does it help us to relate to one another, does it help us relate outside of business? The answer is yes and no. You get a response, yet is it real or is it more robotic? One thing the link does is feed our egos, especially if we have lots of connections with people on LinkedIn.

Facebook was supposed to connect, and it did, to some extent, re-establish friendships, the long lost high school friend, or the college friend who’d you lost touch with, and yet, it became a place where the mask was personified by people who looked happy, and involved, and connected, when in fact, so many folks falsify how good things are, and the fun and connection with people they seemed to be having, was really absent.

Put it up, put it on, and what happens when the mask comes off. And really, if you’re recording all the fun you’re having, how much fun are you having? How present are you behind the lens of the phone? Connected to the reaction of others, rather than really connecting with someone. When we’re behind our phones, when we’re on the other side, we’re not really present.

In a 2018, New York Times article, the topic of loneliness was discussed as an issue in the workplace, at home and is taken with such seriousness, that the U.K. has appointed a minister of loneliness. Perhaps they need to appoint a minister of connection, as well.

 Vector/123rf., Darkovujic, used with permission
Social Media
Source: Vector/123rf., Darkovujic, used with permission

It’s not just social media that leaves one feeling the lack of connection.

The aloneness factor happens in grief, when you’ve lost a loved one, throughout the aging process, or when you’ve lost a sense of curiosity, of culture, ritual and of family. What happens to our bodies, and our minds and our souls while facing this dilemma? Health issues, mental stress and even dementia, are part of the effects that lack of connection surely cause.

Matthew G “Chat time”
Source: Matthew G “Chat time”

The aloneness on the body, the mind and the soul are undeniable. And guess what? It’s reversible and when done in small, little, incremental steps you begin to change that sense of isolation, loneliness and forge a new pathway to connecting with people. It takes a bit of the energy from the archetypal Warrior or Hero. And you have the power to find your warrior when it comes to getting connected.

A warrior knows what their fighting for, who their fighting, and when they are making headway in their efforts. The fight is about personal connection, you’re fighting within yourself, and you’ll know the shift, when the isolation and loneliness, are quieted because there’s deeper connection.

Here are 3 ways to get reconnected:

1. Friendship. So important to tackling the need for connection. Reach out to and connect with friends you haven’t spoken to in a while, take a walk and if you’re alone and see someone walking toward you, say Hi! Help someone you don’t know. You could share a story with them, you never know where it’ll go. We know that story-telling allows for intimacy, and reminds everyone of where they’ve been, the people they’ve loved or liked or even disliked. Some people need lots of connections with people while others are content hanging with one or two, whatever your preference, stretch the self to go beyond what is normally comfortable for you. The warrior can push you.

Adam Bautz “#hiking”
Source: Adam Bautz “#hiking”

2. Exercise. The mind, the body and the brain. Yes, regardless of small town living or big city living, there are ways to find people who exercise together. In China, you’ll see hundreds of folks doing Tai Chi on a big lawn. Tai Chi is one of those universal exercises that can reduce stress, help you connect with people who want to be in touch with their bodies and there is really something to universal energy. There are places offering free yoga classes, libraries offering discussion groups or book discussions, and often houses of worship offer activities throughout the week. The warrior is tenacious in finding ways to exercise all the different parts of you.

3. Instead of spending hours on the computer, create hard stops every 90 minutes, and make yourself get up, walk around, make a plan for later in the day, create a shopping list for dinner, because cooking is a way we connect to ourselves, and BE CURIOUS - ask questions, get involved in something you have a passion for, and allow for the unexpected, finding a way to YES rather than NO!

Is this hard? Sure it is, and aren’t you worth it? Aren’t you worth feeling deeper connections – of course you are! You can be more aware of what’s going on around you when connection is working to your advantage. Stepping out of your comfort zone has the potential to allow the warrior to win the war over loneliness.

More from Edy Nathan MA, LCSWR
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