Connection. What a powerful thing to be able to do with people, to connect with them. It may not be in person, like what we are doing right now, but we are still connecting!
Connecting is something we ALL do, to some degree. It varies due to many factors, and today we’d like to take a little time to connect with you on a very personal level.
As an infant, we connect with our parents in a deep way, both child(ren) and adult(s) slightly in different ways of connecting, but connecting none the less. Our Mom’s are generally the ones we connect with the deepest because of that special bond from being in Mom’s tummy for 9 months, and breast feeding for an allotted amount of time for many babies. Moms and Dads both take care of us, but like I said, each connection IS different.
As we being to open our eyes and learn about the great big world, we watch and begin to connect with people and things. We grasp for Mom and Dad when they come into our space because we want them to connect with us. And when they don’t? We began to have anxiety (which is a ruptured connection) because they either can’t give us their full attention, or may be sidetracked with busy work on something. This can make us feel unsettled. We don’t know WHY they aren’t connecting with us! Soon, we began fussing trying to get their attention. If fussing doesn’t work, it’s time to cry. Why? Well, because we are left feeling alone. Mom and Dad aren’t connecting with us, and that’s a problem for (human) babies. Yes, it may be hard to imagine not connecting with an infant who is totally depending on their caretakers.
Do you know how truly significant connection is for an infant’s brain development? An infant’s early connection with his or her parents creates the capacity for “well-being” and “joy” as an adult. This means that the connections that we experience in early childhood are usually like those we have as adults in our relationships. Weird? Scary? Surprised? Well, keep reading!
As babies grow, like I’ve already said, we begin to connect with Mom and Dad, siblings, and our major caretakers. We watch closely how they interact, communicate, and relate with others. In other words, we begin to learn how to form relationships with others. As we grow older we become much like Mom and Dad and close others in our growing up years. We try to mimic those experiences we learned. In essence, we are trying to connect with others.. but it’s often times scary, difficult to find the courage, and downright hard. These people aren’t Mom and Dad, and since we are of a proper age… crying to get their attention is NOT appropriate 😉 So instead, we can have some fear and anxiety as we try to start connecting with others. Connecting with people in our adult life can be an awesome experience! For some people, fear of connecting with someone new may be because we have a memory of perhaps really being rejected. Rejection is a strong shaming feeling, which brings with it a whole lot of anxiety.
Anxiety is a BIG problem for many, many people. Anxiety is triggered by a ruptured connection, a connection that was more than likely ruptured a long time ago. For those who’ve experienced this, now in the present, anxiety tends to creep in very quickly as we connect with people everyday. When this anxiety happens, what do we do? Do we begin to pull back from the person we are connecting with, rejecting them? Oftentimes, a person can begin to isolate themselves from others, withholding themselves from human connection. We may even begin to go back to a youthful olden days when a relationship attempt of connection was first ruptured, and react like we did back then. That’s really sad. Too often, though, we re-experience that old connection in our heads, and then we become scared, anxious, and full of anxiety to attempt making a new connection. In the event we DO make the attempt, and if that new connection doesn’t happen how we want it to, high anxiety and a feeling of rejection will be experienced.
Did you know that many (not all) people fall in love with individuals who are similar to the parts of our childhood caretakers that they had the most difficulty with? The human mind, our psychology, is quite brilliant! It does this to reverse and repair the original ruptured connection. I share this because I want people to understand just how powerful the REAL emotions of connection are.
A desire for connection is something that we were born into this world with. Connection is something that we literally can’t live without. How we connect with people is CRUCIAL in our early days, months, and years of life. It sets the tone for our future. If our connections were ruptured as children at some point, don’t despair… because we CAN repair ruptured connections!
So how to do we reverse these ruptured connections? We safely repair damage of rejection by being in conversation with others. Safely meaning; having a safe person to share our story, who holds a space for our story, not becoming anxious or defensive in the telling of our story, or fear questions that may arise in the telling of story, which interrupts “connection”. In order to create safety in a relationship while connecting, we ourselves have to consider all relationships as having the potential to heal us in some way, shape, or form. All relationships are an opportunity to repair ruptured connections, changing relational history, and for many people changing learned patterns of connecting for any future connections.
Connection IS powerful. As young children, we learned various channels of connection; our parents, caretakers, peers, teachers, daycare providers, relatives and others in our lives. Occasionally you meet a person who seems to flow with the ability to connect with others. They have a warmth and freshness about them. They most likely had some very good connections in their lives either growing up or in the now. Or both!
As adults who struggle with anxiety in making connections, we may define rejection and abandonment in statements or thoughts such as, “we were, or are not, good enough”. Is it possible to repair those ruptured connections? Only if we are willing to reflect, trust, tell our story and be willing to step out on a limb to change. If we are not willing to take these steps, we will probably do what we have always done, unchanged.
Connection is a part of life and makes us who we are. Each and everyday we can choose to connect with people. As we’ve connected together today on the blog, I hope that this has been insightful, thought provoking, and maybe even got each of us to think about relationships in our own lives. Life can be full of enriching connections. The more we create good and healthy connections for ourselves and others, the better this world will be. Will you help create a life changing connection for yourself and those you love and connect with? I hope so!
Until next time, be blessed with positive connections!