There was a time I looked at connection like the plague. Honestly, I didn’t really know what that word meant, I mean I felt I had friends & I had family that I was close to. But for some reason the word connection felt unduly wrong and unnatural to me. There was no one that I really felt like I could open up to and I really wanted that but, it also felt weak…or that’s what I would’ve labeled it at the time because what connection was calling me to do was be vulnerable. And at that time I didn’t know anyone who was vulnerable, nor did I want to know anyone who was vulnerable (I want you all to know I uncomfortably laughed while I typed that last sentence).
Whenever someone says a word to me that feels, in my body, like it may have so many different meanings, I look it up so I can see what the dictionary says. And I was surprised. It said “a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.” Which makes since, its technical right? But for me, connection feels like I’m giving myself the opportunity and choice to show up as myself and meet you, as you show up meeting me as yourself. And we talk and share and allow ourselves to be seen. I know, deep.
So the reason why true connection really kicks our a**es is because it forces us to look at the places within ourselves where we may not be connecting with us. It shows us the places we don’t feel comfortable receiving, even something that may seem simple, like looking your friend in the eyes when you’re talking. Connection is intimate, even when its platonic. Connection requires vulnerability. Connection says trust that this person really does care. And a lot of us are really afraid to do that, especially with women and friendships.
For the longest time, I declared that I was a man’s woman. I blamed this on my early joining of the military and not really having the opportunity to truly cultivate relationships with women. But really, I was terrified of connecting with women because I’d only ever witnessed or experienced relationships that included a ton of circumstances that I wasn’t interested in. I thought that if I had women who were friends that would mean drama, cattiness, etc…which is so far from the truth, but I really believed this. And I also didn’t believe that I was worthy of friendships, so there were many layers. Women can be a source of comfort, love, laughter, and connection. We just have to be choiceful in who chose to befriend.
But the truth is connection allows us to be seen, to be heard, to be loved, to respected, and to grow. It’s why we take our children to camps and activities allowing them to play in groups. It’s why many corporations focus on connection within their leadership and throughout all levels of their employees. It’s why people go to yoga and Soulcycle. Yes, they want to get a workout, but they also want to connect and feel like they are apart of something.
Due to all of us being very human, you can never predict what a budding friendship will become. But just because you aren’t a psychic, doesn’t mean you should shy away from connecting for fear of being hurt. I did this for a long time and I really was just playing very small.
Where are you shying away from connecting? How could you show up in friendships, relationships, with family – that you trust – in way that allows you to really connect? Also, are you attempting to connect with those who aren’t available for it? Allow yourself to use your discernment and really let go of relationships that aren’t serving you. Put in healthy boundaries. But move forward…don’t let one (or 5) negative experience(s) of connection keep you from living a full life.
So go ahead, let it kick your a** a bit. But you’re worth it.