I had a realisation today: all I really want is to feel connected.
It’s a pretty natural desire, we all want to feel like we’re welcome and we belong. However the longing I have is deep-rooted and consuming; a hole in my chest that I can’t fill. During counselling I was described as a buoy cast adrift in the sea being buffered by waves and wind. I’m desperate to find dry land, a rock, an anchor so that I feel safe.
I only realise the extent of this longing when I do feel a connection to someone. Since my last blog post I’ve connected in various degrees to a few people. Some people got in touch with me about my last blog post: a reasonably new friend, a friend of a friend and an old friend. My new friend brought it up in conversation and said she was concerned about me. I cried to feel that she cared, it was such a weight off my shoulders and it made me feel much better. The friend of a friend thanked me for talking about these issues and we realised how much we had in common and agreed to meet up when we were feeling well enough. My old friend checked up on me and gave me some words of wisdom. All of these encounters, whether virtual or physical, made me feel connected. The surge of emotion they brought made me realise how much I was missing it.
It is when I lose connections that I become ill; when relationships break down and fail or uncertainty reigns in my life. I have recently met someone very special. They care about me and they are kind to me. We understand each other. I have begun to feel very connected to them but circumstances mean that I mustn’t become too attached. This will be a challenge for me. With my need for connection I tend to jump right in at first sight. However the illness that always comes through losing deep connections has made me wary and I know I need to guard myself to stay well.
I was watching the film Amélie this afternoon; a film I have loved since I was a teenager because I relate to the lead character so strongly. Due to her upbringing she is a lonely introvert who cultivates small pleasures and flights of fancy rather than making connections with other people. The moral of the story is that she needed to overcome her fear and make a connection with the people around her in order to feel more alive. For the first time whilst watching the film I thought “well that’s wonderful for Amélie but I’m not sure that sort of connection will last” and I’d hit the nail on the head. What I need to remember is that everything is transient. I will never be able to hold onto the feeling of connectedness whether with another person or the beauty of nature, because everything and everyone changes and fades. I need to learn to accept that and to enjoy each moment of connection as it unfolds without fearing its inevitable disappearance in the future. I need to learn to be my own rock and connect to myself instead.
I’m not sure how I’m going to learn how to connect to myself but it will be my new challenge. I have a few ideas like spending some time on my own (see post ‘Learning To Be Alone’), listening in to my emotions using EFT, listening to my body using yoga and meditation.
I’m also going to practice enjoying feeling connected in the moment and stop myself from worrying about the future by catching myself and re-focusing on the present.
See post ‘Connection Through Separateness’ for my first thoughts on connection and ‘Love Sick’ for thoughts on unhealthy relationships.