“Life delights in life.” — William Blake
How do we connect with other people? Do we rely on conflict, suffering, manipulation, gossip or one-up-man ship? Do we create relationships that can be controlled safely and then call that “reality?”
Real connection requires two people, both wanting to be in the relationship, to approach each other as equals. A good relationship brings us happiness, growth and a satisfying feeling of closeness. We can be ourselves, without adjusting our beliefs or behavior to please the other person or to keep up the relationship. The moment we abandon our equality, we have a power struggle, not a relationship.
Previously, the only connections we made were between us and a hunger and an appetite that was never filled. Once we began our process of personal growth we began to enjoy the real connections with people; the true joy that comes with giving and receiving.
My inside, listen to me, the greatest spirit,
The Teacher, is near,
wake up, wake up!
Oh, friend, I love you, think this over
Carefully! If you are in love,
then why are you asleep?
I know when I have met a challenge in my life; when I become suddenly aware of new knowledge. It’s as if a light goes on, and things suddenly make sense. One friend of mine refers to this as “a blinding flash of the obvious.” It’s important to take such a moment of awareness seriously; it is a cue that a lesson has been learned and that it’s time to move on.
In the past, not trusting myself and not in touch with my connectedness to the Universe, I relied on unhealthy ways to make sense of my life. The more I used intellect and will to manage and run my life, the less I accomplished.
A moment of awareness is a moment of grace. It’s as if the Universe gives us a wonderful gift, and we can turn right around and say, “So that’s what this is all about!” Receptiveness to such a moment gives us the willingness to trust where we have been and the strength to go where our life calls us next. I will always cherish the awareness in my life.
- Scott Schwenk: Recognizing Support In Difficult Times (huffingtonpost.com)
- Nothing? (socyberty.com)
- Bob Lingvall: Discovering the Self in Silent Awareness (huffingtonpost.com)
“I am part of all that I have met.” — Alfred Tennyson
Too often, I have lost my way by forgetting that I am part of a community, a society, a world. There were low points in my life when I closed myself off from others and drifted off all alone. Fantasy, rituals and acting out took me not out of myself, but deeper into loneliness.
As we all maneuver and make our way through life we make contact with others even if we don’t realize it. Looking, talking, smiling, touching, eating, walking, working, playing – all these activities are likely to bring us into contact with others. And the way we act and react does make a difference. Often, a simple smile can make someone else’s day. A hug breaks the ice of solitude. A kind word strikes a chord and is remembered.
Yes, we are all part of the interconnected web of Life; referred to by some as humanity; and we get love and power simply from knowing this. I want to feel part of a strong, healthy and loving community.
- Ten of the best mirrors in literature (guardian.co.uk)
“And if by chance that special place that you’ve been dreaming of leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love.” – Michael Masser and Linda Creed
Between disconnection and connection there is a time of transition. That time is called loneliness. During those moments, we choose what to do with that lonely feeling. I know that I can stay in the lonely place as long as I need to; it’s not necessary to force ourselves to move out of it before we’re ready. But, eventually we must move or the loneliness will deepen, becoming a desert of isolation where we can’t find our way out.
We are meant to be connected to many things: to the Universe, to ourselves, to other people and to life. Maybe the purpose of loneliness is to provide the transition to connection. Rather than experiencing loneliness as something we deserve, or something we brought on ourselves, we can become aware of that deep longing within ourselves to be part of a larger, wider world. We can then do our best to meet our needs and feel pleasure when they are met. I will let my loneliness provide the impetus for moving me to a different place. I will be patient and gentle with my need for connections.
“Most people write off their longing for friends and family as so many losses in their lives, when they should count the fact that their heart is able to long so hard and to love so much as among their greatest blessings.” – Etty Hillesum –
I’m lonely. It’s lonely either being a practicing addict or even as a recovering person on a path of personal and spiritual growth. When I was being sexual with someone else by “partying and playing” in my past, I could push the truth away for a while in the high of the moment. But afterward, back in reality, the loneliness became even more devastating. I could pretend not to care, telling myself that I didn’t need people. But I knew I was lying. Connection, not disconnection, was what that which I longed for; and still find myself longing for today.
I realize that it is possible to rebuild those connections that have been lost. Even as I become healthier through the work I do along my path of personal growth and spirituality, the loneliness does not go away immediately; it takes time. The more I reach out to people honestly, believing I am worthwhile and have something to give, the less lonely I feel. The connections may be new; with new people met traveling along the same path – not those family or friends hurt by me in the past.
Those old relationships may carry their hurts, resentments and doubts for a very long time; never believing that I am capable of change. Overcoming “guilty until proven innocent” can take a very long time to achieve, if ever. New relationships help fill the void left by those loved one’s that can’t, or won’t adjust to the efforts I make and my new, healthier behaviors. There is always a flaw in what they see, which keeps them from an openness of the heart. Yet I have found there’s a world out there, and I belong in it.
I may long for some of the old relationships, but that longing is often quickly dashed when I remind myself of the conditions that were placed on their love. I have found through my personal growth the capability in some people, and in myself, the ability to love unconditionally. Unconditional love – the giving and receiving of it, comes so much more naturally and is a joy to have in my life.
So who am I still lonely for? A relationship with the Universe? Other people? Once I answer that question for myself, I can do something about it.