Confessions of a Connection Junkie
OK, I’m just going to come out and say it – I’m a connection junkie. I live for those moments when I can be with someone who ‘gets’ me….for those times when I muster up the courage to show the ‘craziness’ that goes on inside me and the other person does not flinch one bit – in fact they see my ‘craziness’ and double down with their own.
When I get the high from real connection, I feel like I I’m not alone. I feel understood – I don’t mean intellectually; I mean from that place in me that has a current of feelings that words can’t fully explain. In fact, these moments make me feel so whole that connection has become the purpose of my life. Do you know what I mean? Are you into this drug?
BUT before I (or you) go chasing after this high, I have to tell you what I’ve discovered about actually finding it… you cannot manufacture or force authentic connection, you have to do the work for it to happen.
Can you say that you want this high of real connection bad enough that you’re willing to do the work for it?’ I can. So, how?
There are three main ingredients that we have to focus on to set the stage for connection to happen. One, we have to know ourselves; two, we have to value ourselves; three, we have to be courageous enough to share ourselves. Only then can someone be in the position to ‘get’ us and feel safe enough to share themselves too.
You would think that knowing ourselves would be an easy thing to check off our list, but, if you think about it, it’s not that simple. That’s because knowing ourselves doesn’t just mean knowing facts like when I say ‘I’m Indian, I’m a woman, I’m a daughter,’ but also our dispositions and feelings, like when I can tell you that ‘I am a perfectionist, I hide more when I feel invisible, I’m afraid that you don’t like me.’ Knowing ourselves takes an active, ongoing, conscious effort.
As we start to know ourselves, we have to go a step further. We have to be OK with who we are. More than that, we have to love our whole selves including things that we judge as ‘bad.’ This is arguably the hardest struggle for most people. It is for me. Why? Because our families, our society, our co-workers, and we create parameters for what it means to be ‘good’ and if our insides don’t meet those expectations, we tend to think that we shouldn’t be that way. The problem is that when we strip out those things that we think we shouldn’t be, we lose big chunks of ourselves. Valuing ourselves wholly doesn’t mean that we don’t change things that we want to improve, it just means that wherever we are in this moment is exactly where we are supposed to be.
Once we learn to value even our imperfections, the groundwork for authentic connection is laid. Now all we have to do is let ourselves be seen. Easy? Nope. This takes a lot of courage and vulnerability in the face of rejection. Sharing ourselves means saying “I am afraid of it not working out,” to a new lover. It means saying “I’m tired and overwhelmed,” to your partner. Is it possible that who you share with doesn’t respond with the openness you need for a deep connection? Yes. But, in my opinion and experience it is still worth the risk. Even in the times that you don’t agree with each other, the understanding and knowing that this sharing creates is well worth it in itself.
This pursuit of connection and all of the groundwork of self-awareness and self-love is the key driver of Rooted. Creating Rooted has been one of the most vulnerable things that I have done in my life. It is worth every moment of joy, fear, and heartache that I have experienced because I want there to be a place dedicated for others to be able to get this connection ‘high’ just like me and at times with me.
Ready for your next high?