Have you ever uttered (or heard) these words? “I don’t feel connected to you.” Behind this declaration is an idea that connection is like a delicate thread spun by some mysterious process, one that gets easily cut by an unseen hand. However, if you understand what “connection” is actually made of, you can create intimate connection no matter what.
To connect with another, you first must connect with yourself. Well, ok–that may sound like the “first you have to love yourself” dictum we often hear. (Which, by the way, is true–instruction on the how-to of loving yourself is coming.) But what does “connect with yourself “actually mean?
It’s simple, really, but not so easy. To connect with yourself, you get intimate with your inner world. That world is all about your body’s sensations, emotions, impulses–the merry internal machinery that clicks on and on no matter what’s happening in the outside world. Noticing all the whirring with non-judgmental attention–“oh, my neck is in a knot!” “Hey, there’s a thought about how there’s something wrong with me.” ” I’m hungry; oh, no, actually, I feel sad”–allows you to connect with that inside world with your attention and awareness.
Somehow, this simple move is noticing what’s happening in one’s body is fraught with detours. We’ve often taught ourselves to disconnect from our inner worlds in a variety of ways. Our noticing becomes judgmental (“There’s no reason to be sad; I’m better off just eating all those cookies.” “I hate this neck pain! I’m going to just exercise right through it.”). We get worried that the emotions will overwhelm us (“If I feel this sadness, it will never end.”) We invalidate what’s going on inside (“Nobody else feels this way. There’s something wrong with me.”) The outcome of these wrong turns? Disconnection from our real, essential selves.
Intimacy with another is an ever-deepening loop. First we connect with ourselves, finding out the truth of our inner world; then we come out and communicate what’s happening in there to someone else, allowing them to see us and know us; then they go inside to do the same thing, finding their authentic experience that they can then communicate back to us. Through this loop, both people have the most exquisite experience of relationship: Being seen, being heard, and being known for who they really are.
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Watch for my free teleclass, “3 Keys to Catalyzing a Conscious Life: This is Where it all Begins!” Coming soon!