I have been fascinated by multiple graduation parties and weddings this year. For many people, this is the first time in two years that they have gathered with this many people, in one location, no mask and food on a buffet table.
Something else I noticed was the smiles, the hugs, the connections—the gift in simply being together. As I watched the energy this presence created, a thought crossed my mind. We have been undervaluing and underestimating the power of connection.
The last two years have been something the majority of us have never experienced in our lifetimes: having to isolate, wear a mask everywhere, have extremely limited contact with people outside of our immediate circles and even missing the last breaths of some of our loved ones. Rather than sitting next to a parent, grandparent and friend holding a hand, we have been forced to FaceTime a final goodbye. I’m not here to put a vote on whether or not these restrictions were right or wrong. I am here to vote that the impact on our connection and ability to connect has been affected and we are seeing the impact right now in our world.
We are at a critical crossroads. I believe that the power of connection matters and it is through this connection that we truly see one another and—dare I say—begin to restore humanity and our interactions with one another. Connection begins with each of us taking a step. I must confess that I was confronted myself when a friend’s father died a few weeks ago and I realized that I had not spoken or connected with her during this time when her father had been ill and dying. I felt horrible. I still feel a little sick in my stomach because I was not there for her. I was too consumed in my own version of getting through the last two years.
There is good news! It’s not too late to connect. In the example of my friend, I sent a note suggesting a tea date and apologized for not having been there for her over this last year. I had to start somewhere. We all have to start somewhere. I put together a 5-step process for reconnecting. I hope it is useful for you.
- Start with meditation or prayer. Notice who comes to mind as you take a moment to pause. This is probably a cue of where to start.
- Pick one person to start. It may be the person who came to mind in step one.
- Reach out to this person in a way that matters to him/her.
- As you connect with this person, notice the impact of connection.
- Continue connecting with others. Repeat this process if it’s useful to have a framework.
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Blessings, Peace and JOY—