One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic era has been isolation. No watercolor conversations. No meeting friends for an impromptu dinner. No concerts, shows, movies in outdoor venues. And the hardest thing of all: the absence of connection when a loved one died. No caring hugs, comforting conversations, or space-holders to share and process one's grief.
The word "connection" has been on my mind a lot. What it means, how it changes as we evolve, and how much of it we need.
Brain science tells us that humans are hardwired for connection. But humans also need silence and solitude. It is the empty spaces that offer us the opportunity to reflect, introspect, and grow.
When we seek connection exclusively from others, we're likely to be more likely to be disappointed. Other humans can't and won't always show up for us in the ways we want them to.
This is because how well someone is able to connect with you depends on how well they're connected to themselves.
Most of us have been subjected to insensitive remarks while we were grieving. Get over it. How long are you gonna cry? You should grow a thick skin.
The people who speak those words have been taught to "get over it", "not cry about it" and "grow a thick skin." Tutored to dismiss their feelings, they pass on what they know.
Think of all the blessings.
Yeah, but...look on their positive side.
People are dying all over the world. You need perspective.
And just like that you feel shamed when you were seeking understanding and comfort.
When you know yourself and can hold all the parts of you with tenderness and care, you know how to do the same for others.
So our number one job is to deeply connect with our own selves. To speak to ourselves as we would to a two-year-old or a darling friend.
It sounds really hard, what you're going through.
It's okay, sweetheart. I'm here with you and I'll stay as long as you need me to.
You have such a tender heart; that's why you feel so deeply.
When we can offer ourselves the care we crave, we no longer attach so much importance to what others think and feel and say.
Self-connection is the best form of therapy.
Take a few moments each day and sit with the question: Who am I? What matters to me? What do I care about? How do I want to live my life? What do I need to let go of in order to be fully me?
Sending you much love,