Connection Lost. Intimacy Found.
One of the things that has gotten me through the last year, and through this time of deep loss of connection and living life the way we used to know it, is to meditate. Those who have known me a long time may be surprised by this, as the busy, ambitious, spirited nature of my natural way of being is decidedly not sitting still! I love to use guided meditations with prompts to keep my mind on track with the topic at hand, during the meditation. This morning, I found myself led to one called: “Into Me See” on the Calm App.
Intrigued by the break down of the word “Intimacy” to “In-to-me-see,” I found myself reflecting on how connection with self is the truest form of intimacy, and we must be able to connect with ourselves and be willing to truly see ourselves if we are to truly see others.
Which got me to thinking about how sadly disconnected many of us are, not only with ourselves but also with others, especially as we hit the one-year mark of not being able to socially connect with the people in our world the same way we used to.
What’s more, how many of us have already gone too far down the continuum of aloneness? We may think we no longer need people when really, it’s time to leave our isolated bubbles and connect in person with our worlds again.
Just like my teenager who spends so much time in her room and on her devices so that she can connect with the outside world, how will we exercise our people skills when we’re actually allowed to see people again?
Have we lost the ability to connect? Will it be like riding a bike and we can greet people again?
Likely, the awkwardness of the social handshake, the sometimes hug and (heaven-forbid) awkward kiss on the cheek (sometimes 2 or 3 depending on their culture) will be replaced by what, a wave? An eyebrow raise above the mask? A fist-bump or nod of the head?
What’s the road to recovery? Where do we begin with re-establishing human connection with the
people most important to us?
1) Connection with Self
Let’s start here. “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” said the wise Socrates. And the “you” of a year ago may not be the “you” of today. Who are you today? I recommend journaling,
meditating and reflecting on the people and connections you want to surround yourself with and who are important to you now, not because that’s how it’s always been done, but because it’s who you most long to see. Everything gets to change if you want it to. Now is the time to connect with self, to ensure you know ‘thyself,’ before you make meaningful connections with others.
2) Connection with Family & Friends
This is likely a fair number of people, and you may have found yourself in deeper connection with the ones who live with you and those you chose to have in your “bubble” of varying sizes over the past year.
Now, to expand that bubble with care – with those who fill your bucket or who’s bucket you want to fill. I like to think of my group of friends as being at a table of eight. Who would you most want around that dinner table – that first, delicious, dinner party you long to have? Who would earn a seat at your table? Who get’s the first invitation? Who do you miss the most? What connections might you have taken for granted before this whole mess? Which friendships and connections feed your soul? I invite you to surround yourself first with these. And soak them in.
3) Connection with Others
And then comes that outer circle. The outer ring of connection – business associates, distant friends, acquaintances and professional friendships. How and when is the best time to introduce these? Which groups serve you and which ones seem to take more effort than they’re worth? For those in business, I recommend going deeper with those groups that are the best fit for this stage of your business journey. Who do you long to serve? Which organizations are filled with people who believe in you and the work you’re doing? Who will help grow your business or career and take you to that next level?
The big takeaway is to intentionally choose to surround yourself with those who are life-giving and affirming. Those in your world who SEE you or long to see you. More importantly, do you long to see you? Into ME see. I invite you to see inside yourself and make your choices from there.
From my bubble to yours,
To your success, in business, in your career and in life,