“I define connection as the energy 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.” Brené Brown.
Seen, heard and valued sounds amazing. What do you think?
My daughter’s 27th birthday is today (yes, it’s also St. Patrick’s Day). Last year, on her birthday, her two brothers were home from college and grad school for spring break. The five of us Vetters, plus two partners, sat around the table, laughing and joking, teasing each other and sharing love. There was deep connection.
We couldn’t know the future, but there certainly was a sense of uneasiness that we tried to hide in our joking and laughter.
We’ve learned to rely on each other over this year, to forget about trivial stuff or our differences, and embrace the support and love that has buoyed us up. The connections between us are stronger than before.
Don’t get me wrong, there were hard times, there was loss and we didn’t always get along. But this time showed us that our connections are critical. Both to each other, and to friends old and new. And each of us to ourselves.
What about you? How has connection helped you get through this time? What were you missing and what did you long for? Are there some connections that sustained you and others not so much?
Take some time to sit with the idea of connection, so that you can move forward deliberately. Honor the connections that sustain you, and release some that aren’t feeling the same.
How about your connection to yourself? Has this time of isolation helped you connect more deeply to who you are? As we move toward the new normal, think about how you want to feel, how you want your connections to feel.
We all have limited time and energy, so choosing who you want to connect to and how you want to connect is important, because as Brené Brown says, “Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
Here are some thought or journaling questions.
- Describe a time when you felt connected to another person in a way that felt supportive or even life sustaining. Who were they?
- Describe a time when you felt deeply connected to yourself or who you are?
- What helps you seek out connection?
- What stops you or holds you back from connecting?
That last question is one I’ve been thinking about. I tend to isolate myself when I’m feeling down, even when I know connecting will lift my spirits. Does that ever happen to you? What do you do to reach out when you don’t feel you have the energy? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Letters last a lifetime and help you express just how much you care for the people in your life. I invite you to grab a copy of Deepening Connections with Legacy Letters where I show you how to craft one from the heart.