Everyone lives for connection. Connection to people. Connection to the world. Connection to love.
"True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything."
In January of this year, my family and I decided to move across the country. To pack all of our belongings and relocate to Arizona. In doing this, it has made me realize and question many things. One of those things being my connectedness to everything., but more specifically people.
Once I arrived in Arizona, everything slowed down a bit. I was in a new place with new people. I had not made friends here yet. I did not know the area well. I had to teach myself how to handle those changes and figure out ways to stay connected.
For the first few months, I was on my phone A LOT. I facetimed and called family and friends. I texted nonstop and messaged people through social media. I was so involved with my phone that I realized I was addicted to the feeling of connection. I didn't want to miss events, celebrations, or different obstacles loved ones were having. I was consumed by others and how they were doing, what was going on, and making sure they were doing well.
I realized being on my phone was effecting the connection I had with my own family. My children started to say that they did not want to facetime anyone and just wanted to be with their parents. Hearing that put a lot into perspective for me and made me change the way that I needed to approach staying connected.
Lucas, my son, had his 5th birthday in May and that was one of the first celebrations that got to me. Normally for my children's birthdays we always have a big party. Everyone comes over. We have games and music, food and cake, and endless laughter and fun. This year we were in Arizona for his birthday. We went to the park and had pizza and cake. My in-laws were there and we had so much fun! But, it made me think of all the people who normally come to the event. How much I miss them and love them. How my connection to them is still the same, but we had to celebrate apart.
To be honest, I was struggling with how to stay connected.
I took a break from my phone for a little while. I tried other things. I sent gifts, packages, and mailed letters. That became expensive quick. I tried setting reminders and carving out specific times to talk with people. That worked a little bit better, but it was still not easy.
Then it dawned on me. I needed to connect with myself first in order to connect with others. I realized that I had been holding out on myself for the last few years. While I was taking the break from my phone and social media, I had time to think. I was not taking the time to connect with myself and neglecting my own feelings and needs. Being able to have quiet nights in Arizona away from the world had actually brought me closer to it. In finding myself by journaling, being in nature and going on walks, and just sitting in silence, I was able to find that connection with myself again. Everything ended up coming back together. My connection with my husband and children was stronger than before. My relationships with family and friends strengthened. I was taking the time to really think about what connectedness really meant to me.
Connectedness is love. It is feeling full even when you are alone and by yourself.
Being able to have a deep understanding of how crucial connections are to me has been the biggest blessing. It gives me a sense of community, happiness and purpose. It effects my mental, physical an emotional well being. I finally feel more connected to myself which is helping me figure out how to connect better with others. How can you strengthen your connections?
"Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others."