that exists between people
when they feel
seen, heard, and valued;
when they can give and receive without judgment;
and when they derive
sustenance and strength
from the relationship.
In his book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, Daniel Goleman explores how the latest findings in biology and neuroscience confirm that we are hardwired for connection and that our relationships shape our biology as well as our experiences.
Goleman writes, “Even our most routine encounters act as regulators in the brain, priming our emotions, some desirable, others not. The more strongly connected we are with someone emotionally, the greater the mutual force.”
yet perhaps not surprising--
that the connectedness we experience
in our relationships
impacts the way our brain develops and performs.
Our innate need for connection makes the consequences of disconnection that much more real and dangerous.
Sometimes we only think we’re connected. Technology, for instance, has become a
kind of imposter
making us believe we’re connected
when we’re really not
—at least not in the ways we need to be.
In our technology-crazed world,
we’ve confused being communicative
with feeling connected.
Just because we’re plugged in, doesn’t mean we feel seen and heard. In fact, hyper-communication can mean we spend more time on Facebook than we do face-to-face with the people we care about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a restaurant and seen two parents on their cell phones while their kids are busy texting or playing video games.
What’s the point of even sitting together?
As we think about the definition of connection
and how easy it is to mistake technology for connecting,
we also need to consider letting go of the myth
One of the greatest barriers to connection
is the cultural importance we place on
“going it alone.”
Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone.
Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand,
but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help
when we need it ourselves.
It’s as if we’ve divided the world into
“those who offer help”
and “those who need help.”
The truth is that we are both.
Until we can receive with an open heart,
we are never really
giving with an open heart.
When we attach judgment to receiving help,
we knowingly or unknowingly
to giving help.
The Wholehearted journey is not the path of least resistance.
It’s a path of consciousness and choice.
And, to be honest, it’s a little counterculture.
The willingness to tell our stories,
eel the pain of others,
and stay genuinely connected
in this disconnected world
is not something we can do halfheartedly.
courage, compassion, and connection
is to look at life
and the people around us,
“I’m all in.”