I do not know where to begin this post about connection, the topic for #1000Speak for Compassion this month and #BeWow. Ideas swirling through my mind – words and phrases – so here goes.
I will begin with the essence of connection which we find so appealing, supportive, enriching, rewarding… this ‘thing’ we call intimacy. Without intimacy, any connection is barren, void of the positive meaning we attach to it.
As we become open to another being, another creature, to nature – connection and intimacy happen. To be frank I don’t need the scientific explanation nor an absolute definition to know the power of connection and intimacy. When two minds, two hearts connect, there is beauty.
So what is intimacy? A close, familiar and affectionate personal relationship with another – and it comes in different ways. We have cognitive or intellectual intimacy with another with the sharing of ideas, visions, viewpoints, dreams, hopes. Then there is experiential intimacy such as that between gym buddies, dance partners, fellow bloggers … Emotional intimacy is one where feelings are shared between two or more people, and emotional awareness and support are present. Then we have sexual intimacy which is not just about the act of sex but a sharing of sensuality. Through one or more of these intimacies we connect to each other.
But which comes first? Do we connect then intimacy grows? Or do we establish certain intimacies such that we connect? Instead of a linear cause-and-effect relationship, the relationship between connection and intimacy is reflexive.
I am an introvert – self-labelling I know though it makes for easier expression. I enjoy the company of others only sometimes, and only in short bursts of time. I have a small group of close friends, and I am grateful for their presence in my life. But since I began my blogging journey, I realise it is the physical presence of others that drains my energy. The need to front up at social events tends to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Connecting online is different. I seem ‘chatty’ online, so I’m told. The ‘why’ makes for great reflection though I won’t go there here. Suffice to say, I have connected with people in blogosphere, people who in their own ways touch me by their presence, their being, what they say, how they are etc. These connections are no less valid in my book, than hanging out with girlfriends. Different, but no less valued.
Intimacy and connection are deliberate and conscious processes. We must be willing to explore, to be interested in another’s life, to be present. Most importantly, we must be real. And we have to give it time to develop. Hold this new interaction/relationship lightly, watch it and see where it will grow. No preconceived-notions of how, what and why. And no attachment to the outcome because not every interaction becomes positive connection.
So how do we do this ‘thing’ named connection?
Be sociable. Be open. By the way, this does not mean, be naive and gullible. It does however mean you do not approach every person you meet as a threat. Keep your head, open your heart.
Maintain your values. People with whom you connect will be those who share a certain ‘thing’ with you, this ‘thing’ which calls to you are usually underpinned by your values. Be yourself. Be honest.
Whether we connect through body, mind, heart or spirit, the intimacies another shares become a part of us just as ours become a part of his/hers. So be gentle, be kind. Be respectful.
I have people (what a lucky person I am!) with whom I am intimately connected. I have learnt not to expect them to meet me on every level – body, mind, heart and spirit. Few can meet this ‘brief’, I believe. By the way, I am happy to be proven wrong – how amazing would such connection be :-).
However and whatever our connections are with our world, they are important to our human-ness and necessary to our well-being. Which of us would refuse a genuine connection?
I wish you bountiful connections and intimacies.
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