A Connection keeps us grounded. How do yours rate?
Last week I spent the afternoon with a very special college student, who will soon become a family member. We hung out, had lunch, walked our dogs and talked. Sounds pretty uneventful, right? Maybe to the casual observer, but not to us. We were making a connection. The sharing of thoughts, ideas and just being in each other’s company, which made it feel warm. I definitely felt a burst of good endorphins that we know help guard against stress, depression, even physical pain and illness.
So what is it like in your life? What connections do you have that foster good feelings? Are you happy with the nourishment you receive on an emotional level? Do you feel fulfilled enough to pass some of your optimism or affection to someone else?
Connections come in all sizes and shapes. We can connect with other people, animals, and even the things we love. Conversely, some connections are more important than others. Think of it this way: A connection is a point of contact.
In a relationship this can take many forms. It might be your voice in my ear. It could be my words before you on a computer screen. Perhaps it is a simple touch on the shoulder from a loved one, just when you need it the most. Compelling speeches, amusing emails, and even irritating phone calls are all forms of human connection. These are contacts between you and someone who has, or wants to have a connection with you.
There are many types of human connections between people: physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, practical, spiritual, just to name a few. Maybe you’ve heard someone say of their partner, “We are emotionally connected.” An emotional connection is a shared and like-minded experience, a mutual understanding and adherence to the value of the link. This bond can be expressed through words, a look, or touch.
The advantage of these connections comes in having similar goals and desires. We may have started at very different places to reach that goal, but we have both decided there is a destination we want to share. Even if we are not able to achieve “enlightenment” or “romantic love” together, the fact that we were trying together can create a powerful and uplifting bond.
If you need any proof that we don’t necessarily need speech to make a deep connection, just think about the wonderful and loving relationships that often exist between people and their animal companions. The uniquely warm and calming influence of a loving animal is so powerful that dogs are now used for therapy in many types of facilities. “Therapy dogs” may serve as companions for the disabled or for someone who is chronically anxious or depressed. These canines work in cancer wards, veterans’ hospitals, crisis centers, or dental offices. It is a known fact that bringing a dog to a person in a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility has health benefits. Just seeing the smile on the face of a person who has begun to stroke a dog’s fur tells you that a soothing connection has been made and affirms the importance.
Look around you at the connections you have. What makes you feel authentically connected, validated, held, understood, and perceived with compassion? Does a real human connection make you feel comfort, warmth, security or acceptance?
In summation, May you feel strengthened by at least one moment of real connection, human or otherwise, each day you spend on this planet. Share your strongest connection in the comments below