Why do we connect?

Image

I sit “indian” style with my laptop propped in the space between my knees, it’s suspended in the air with only the sides being held by my legs, it’s so the fan will run. I’ve been researching all morning about the human need for connection. It’s this need that keeps me writing, my want to so badly connect with others. My fingers are my voice because my real voice sits in silence most of the time, so that I can listen to those around me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a mute and there are times that I speak in response, I shout, I cry, I’m still human, but I don’t feel that my speaking voice does what’s on my mind any justice. So, I write. I’m better able to put my thoughts and feelings into written words than speaking out loud. I could psychologically deconstruct why that is, but I won’t. Somehow doing so would take away the mystery or magic in it. Writing is my way of connecting, of building bridges to other humans who also wish to connect. 

Why do we do it at all? Yes, I know for survival of our species and because no man is an island. But it’s also much more than that- it is a need that if not met can quickly lead to death. Think about that for a moment.

Animals, plants, insects, humans- every living system has to connect. We hear it all the time “we are all ONE”, yet sometimes that oneness can feel so lonely. What we really crave is the ability to connect on deeper levels, the ability to forge this connection with one who is similar to us, because what we really want is to be seen, heard, felt, and most importantly- understood. We want others to look at us and say “yes! I get you! I understand you! I accept you!” which all stems from our innate ability to be empathetic. I talk A LOT about empathy, it is the building block for connection, when it is missing or lacking we isolate ourselves. We break connections ALL the time, and then in haste we try to tape them back together and in other cases the connection stays broken because it is too painful to allow it back in. I say- connect anyway (so much easier said than done I know).

A few minutes ago I was watching a neighbor walk her dog, and I found myself wondering what was it like to be her? How did she see the world? This is not something I do on a regular basis, hardly any of us do. We go about our day to day lives thinking of our needs, our wants, our stories. While I was watching the neighbor I had this wild impulse to open my back door and ask her what her story is, and then I looked down and realized I’m still in my pajamas and my hair is a mess, and then my brain said- “she would think you are crazy”…and maybe I am, but it was that need to connect that was propelling me forward and then fear stopped me. 

In the end it is what stops us all from connecting- fear. Fear of rejection, fear of saying, doing, being, the “wrong” thing. Rather than embracing who we really are we conform to connect, or we stay outside the box and try to find others who are hiding in the shadows of the box. Today and every day, I invite you all to connect to those inside and outside the box of life. As Neil deGrasse Tyson stated above- we are all connected even if it’s just on the surface biologically, chemically, and atomically, we have this amazing ability, let’s use it.

Advertisements

What does it mean to dream?

Image

(Image courtesy of kickofjoy.com)

Dream has become synonymous with action in the mind, it is no longer just about sleeping and living in a dream world for 6-8 hours a night. To dream means to create- we create our dream life, essentially you are creating what lies inside your mind. We hold tightly to our dreams, doing everything we can to make them a reality. We hear slogans all the time- if you dream it you can achieve it, you can do anything if you follow your dreams! How far do we get when chasing our dreams? What happens when our dreams become nightmares?

Sometimes dreaming is painful. When you want something so badly and it seems just beyond your reach, yet you continue to dream almost to the point of obsession. I have spent my entire working life helping everyone else achieve their dreams, I keep forgetting what mine even are. I shove them down and say “I’ll get to you later” or “Maybe after I get out of this situation or that”…always maybe if or when. The truth is the time is now. I can no longer afford to wait.

It seems there is a paradigm shift taking place in the world. We are having to rethink what the system is that we are in, we have to evolve. Maybe our dreams are more within reach than we realize. Maybe we really will see the day when our dreams and reality collide. That begs the question though of is that good or bad?

To My Daughter

To my sweet, beautiful, smart girl,

When you were born I looked at you and said you were the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen, I loved you instantly with a fierceness that I didn’t know was possible. My heart was so full I thought I might literally explode with joy. I knew from that day forward I’d do whatever it took to protect you, even if that meant doing really hard things. You’ve been a fighter from the start and 14 years in, you’re still fighting and making your way through life. It’s unrealistic for me to think that I can protect you from heart break- unfortunately my darling girl, it is a part of life. What I do want for you is to not let it break you- your wonderful spirit, your smile, or take away your hope that life isn’t always as painful as it seems.

My wish for you is that you will value yourself and allow others to see how brilliant your beautiful  mind is, don’t let them see just an outer shell. You are so much more than your pretty face and anyone who tells you different doesn’t deserve your precious time. Time is not something we can get back- so make the most of it, but do so wisely. Pay close attention to who and what you are giving your time too. My grandmother told me that life is all about the choices you make- she was right. I trust you to make good choices, I also know that you’ll make mistakes, and that is also a part of life- I will never disown you for a mistake you’ve made. I will be here no matter what.

When it comes to love- don’t just give it away to the first boy who comes along. Your love is something even more precious than time. When you do fall in love, real love, you will feel like you’re walking on clouds and you’ll be excited every day. First love is indescribable. I hope that the person who loves you will be one who inspires you to be you, who accepts you for who you are, and who makes you laugh. I hope they appreciate how intelligent you are and that they are also intelligent enough to know that you deserve to be happy and treated with respect. Relationships are built on trust, communication, and mututal respect- don’t settle for anything less.  Most of all, don’t lose yourself in someone else, when it’s real love you become an even more amazing version of yourself and so do they. It’s a balancing of each other, always remember that. Don’t be afraid to fight, conflict is ok- as long as it’s not abusive. Never let a man or woman lay a hand on you or an unkind word and the same goes for you- if you feel the need to be violent please just walk away. Love is worth fighting for, but not at the hands of someone else. Real love exists- this I can promise you.

I am and always will be incredibly proud of you, as long as you are trying and doing the best you can, I won’t ask for more than that. Just know that I’m not afraid to push you to be better though, I see so much in you and know your heart, so if I nudge you in a positive direction try not to hold it against me. I will love you through this life and then some. I hope you will always know that.

Love,

Your mom

Enough

What does it mean to say enough? I have often felt not enough- put whatever you want in front of that i.e. good, worthy, happy, pretty, smart, etc.. You get the idea. I think we have probably all experienced that feeling at one time or another through out our lives. Lately I’ve been struggling with it more than I care to admit, but I’m trying to really get to the root of it. What I have come up with is this idea that I define myself based on others ideas of me- caring what other people think of me has never really crossed my mind. It’s not a conscious thought that I am actively aware of, as in I don’t sit around wondering all day long what people think of me. I notice though that when someone I am close too makes somewhat of a comparison of me to someone else, I begin to doubt myself and feel less than enough.

When these feelings arise I feel like I’m going to war with myself. I dress up in my mental combat boots, camo, and judo chop my way through the negative thinking. Countering every negative thought with something good. “I’m not lovable enough” countered with “I am loved no matter what”, “I’m not pretty enough” countered with “I am more than my outside shell”. Most of the time this works, it takes me a while though to actually feel it on the inside. I think on a subconscious level I want validation from the people I care about that they see me that way too, but what I really need is to see that I am already these things on the inside. No outside help necessary. I will admit though- it’s  nice to be told that someone else notices the good stuff too.

The person that I am is more than these negative emotions that cloud my mind from time to time. I have a beautiful mind, and I am loved by my husband, family, and friends. My outside shell will change as time goes on and I am ok with that, I  have a few more wisdom strands and some laugh lines- and that truly is ok. What  I cannot continue to do is compare myself to the 20 somethings that are around me, I cannot worry that one or two may catch my husband’s eye (he’s a man, they process visually differently from us- this I accept), I am far greater than they in terms of what is meaningful and what matters the most. So to them I say- enjoy flaunting yourself while you can, for it won’t last, and while you’re busy staring at yourself in the mirror and losing who you are to it, I’ll be over here feeling extremely lucky that I have moved past that and have accomplished far more than I could have ever imagined.

I have a love that most would give their lives for, I have a life that is full and for those things I am grateful. I am grateful that I can say I am enough for myself, and I recognize that, even if my brain wants to challenge me on occassion and make me doubt. I have and will continue to overcome my own thinking. Because I am enough- good, pretty, smart, funny, and loved.

Being Human

Boxes, labels, and illusions.

That’s what we’re all made of. We have to fit into these nifty little boxes of what it means to be a woman or a man, a child or a teen, adolescent or adult, beautiful or ugly, fat or skinny, great personality or asshole- we are all of it. We are illusions of what we are told to be. We think we have TO BE these things because if we aren’t then there’s something wrong with us. For example, as a woman I am told by society and the American culture that I am only as beautiful as the woman who is on the cover of magazines, in the movies, or on the runway. I am only as smart as the woman with a college education and a PhD. I am only a mother if I am like June Cleaver mixed in with Angelina Jolie. I am only worthy of being paid slightly less than a man simply because I have a vagina. Are these old ways of thinking changing? Absolutely.

What does it mean to be human in the face of these changes? This may sound strange, but I would rather identify as human than as a woman. I would rather be viewed as a human being rather than as a walking vagina with big boobs. So while these old paradigms of thinking ARE truly changing- what we have to ask is what exactly are they changing into? We have a decision to make- break through the illusions and see each other for who we really are- human. Beautifully flawed, mistake making, reptilian brained, needs driven, mostly critically thinking human beings.  It’s a beautiful dream to say that, it’s an awe inspiring feeling to feel that, and a hope abounding notion.

We are told that only the strong survived, that’s how evolution got to us to where we are (thanks to Darwin’s astute findings). We have jealous tendencies because we have to figure out what or who are our threats- it’s a human characteristic. I fully believe that we are capable now of critically thinking our way out of those old notions. It’s not easy, none of this is easy- overcoming old thinking takes a lot of work. Maybe if we could incorporate empathy it will help facillitate the change in thinking.

I want to be able to embrace my humaness, as well as yours. That is my hope for the future.   

What Do You Want?

I’ve been thinking for a very long time, or dreaming for a very long time, about what it is I truly want out of life. I think that most of us do this for a good portion of our lives, especially when we’re young. And then there are those who follow their dreams, they set themselves on a path to where they want to go. I can’t speak for everyone, I truly can only speak for myself. I know we all tend to want to be loved, to feel safe, secure, and stable in what appears to be an unstable scary world. If we all want the same things what stops us from achieving them?

If you could allow yourself to truly want- what would you seek?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: