It never, ever ceases to amaze me how critical it is to be well connected and how much of a difference it makes to outlook on life, everyday experiences and happiness in general. No, I'm not talking about 'connected' to the Internet and its various tools of connectivity at all. What I'm talking about is that deep connection we have with the people we love, primarily our partners, or spouses, and children.
You know when things start to feel overwhelming, when life seems too busy and too noisy, and pretty much just plain hard work? When little things bother you way more than than you know they should, when negatives are magnified and positives seem almost non-existent? Well I wonder, in those times, if you stopped for a moment and honestly assessed how connected you are to your spouse, partner, significant others, kids, friends etc what you'd find. I wonder because I think there is a distinct and definite connection between how connected we are to our key people and how happy, resilient and positive we feel.
My husband and I had drifted and our 'connection', our tuning in to each other and giving to each other had ebbed away. It happens in a busy life, doesn't it? The tide's going out and things just don't feel as good as they should. You lose your zing. But then we talked, we got back on the same page and we reinvigorated ourselves with the motivation to GIVE to each other again and what a difference!
It’s amazing how much of a difference being aware of and taking notice of this can make. I think that often all those annoying things, all that feeling of overwhelm and of things being just a bit too hard are not the things themselves, right? We know this; it depends on our state of mind, our perspective. But consider how much being deeply connected to our number 1 people can totally change that perspective - it's MASSIVE. It's like having a team, that we're not alone, and being reminded of that, somehow, can suddenly make things seem exciting again.
And the best bit about it is that we can instantly turn that connectivity up a notch by giving. Do something beautiful for your partner, listen to your kids, give of yourself, and your connectivity instantly increases and so does your perspective. It is not out of our control - we get to create our level of connectivity and our perspective. Next time I'm feeling low, or overwhelmed, or unmotivated with life in general and it all feels a bit too hard, I’m really going to try to remember simply reconnecting as a strategy. Give of myself, be of service to those I love, show them I love them, open up, invite them in, reconnect. When I nurture my deep connections with the people I love, my perspective and my life changes. I love that because not only is it truly win-win, but completely within my control at any point in time and in any situation.
This is new for me, but I see it’s a habit worth cultivating. I know that when I’m feeling cranky, frustrated and negative, the last thing I want to do is connect with anyone. My internal rage is telling me it’s all their fault, whoever ‘they’ are, and that if they could only see all they owe me for causing me to feel so upset, then I might start to feel better. How unrealistic! Like scratching a mozzie bite; if I just scratch a bit longer, it’ll just stop itching. Wrong! If you scratch a bit longer, it’ll get itchier and you’ll end up with a sore and later a scar. You need to go in a totally different direction, put your mind to something different.
It’s time to re-wire and make new brain pathways, for me anyway. Imagine understanding that feeling frustrated and negative and cranky were symptoms of not having my desires met. My desire to feel understood, like I matter, that I’m appreciated, that I bring value to the world and to the people I love, and that I am loved and accepted. What if I knew that at the heart of all the superficial goings on and ups and downs of life, that I feel good when these desires are met and crappy when they’re not. And what if when I knew that when they are not being met, that I could simply reach out and seek connection to change my perspective and realign my outlook, and therefore the way I felt. I imagine that’d be a pretty worthwhile thing to practise.
So I tell you what; I’ll try this for one whole day tomorrow and then report back to let you know how I went. That is, I’ll practise two things tomorrow; 1, the awareness of my negative feelings and my inner desires not being met, and 2, taking the action of seeking connection as the antidote instead on focusing on the negative. In other words, I’ll try to find ways to fulfil the desires that aren’t being met. That is, I’ll not scratch, but seek connection through giving that which I wish to receive instead.
Photo credit: Felipe Bastos via Flickr