This concept, “the power of connection” may be more or less a “no brainer” for some of us, but for others, our awareness hovers (within that vast middle ground), somewhere between being totally oblivious to it, and those odd moments, where we think we’ve just experienced a miracle.
I’m talking about those moments when we connect with another human being in a way that fills us with purpose, meaning, and gratitude.
I challenge you to consider, really consider, these special moments that have happened in your life. Oh, and by the way, in case you have any doubts, these special moments have happened. And as you reflect on these connections, start to create a mental image or better yet, an internal movie that you can play, so you can re-live that original encounter where a connection was made, and a special memory was created. Think in terms of an experience where you felt belongingness, a sense of knowing, and maybe even a little personal chemistry.
Think back to your childhood when maybe a family member or relative, took special interest in you. Maybe this was evidenced by the fact that they spent time with you, and they really spoke with you (not at you), or they simply acknowledged you in a way that made you feel valued.
Maybe while you were in school, a teacher or another adult took the time to let you know that they believed in you and your ability to achieve the things you desired, no matter what they were.
Or possibly, a work colleague or superior took you under their wing and provided you with support, mentorship, and they demonstrated that they held trust in you and your abilities. Similarly, maybe a connection formed with a classmate or an associate, who “chose” you to be his or her friend.
And, of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without reflecting on those romantic connections you’ve made in the course of your life. From the playfulness and fun of a little flirtatious behavior, to the deep connection of a having a relationship partner or soulmate.
Now, imagine where you would be without these connections…
Each connection has had its own unique affect on you and in some ways they have and they may continue to define you in some way.
Honouring past and present connections
Along our journey through life, our paths cross and come together; and our paths split apart, all happening within the reality that everything changes and everything is impermanent, no matter how hard we try to keep things from changing.
Whether your reflection of your past connections brings a smile to your face, or a tear to your eye, each connection has had its affect on you in some way (consider this be the connection “butterfly effect”).
Taking the time to remember these connections will serve you in many ways. They will remind you of the special gifts these connections and relationships have provided you; whether they bring you joy or pain, they represent living and being alive. Honour these connections with gratitude, they have the real potential to bring happiness and provide a real learning opportunity.
Do you create these connections or do they just happen to you?
Hmmm – good question. Maybe a bit of both, and if we believe this, let’s consider how this happens. Have you ever had an experience when you have an intention, or you are focused on a specific outcome, or maybe you are just in a certain state of being (happy, angry, or purposeful), that people just seem to show up; and these people show up aligned with your way of being and to help in their own special way.
Smiling is a great example of this affect, try it.
For the most part, we journey through our lives like shooting stars, focused on our own selfish or singular purpose with our rudder stuck in one position. Or we journey through our lives like a cork on the ocean, without any rudder whatsoever. Consider that if we simply approach our lives with the intention of honouring and facilitating our connection with others by being focused on serving others and mastering the art of connection, our lives will be full of all the ingredients required to live a great life.
Still not convinced about the importance of the power of connection…?
I am reminded of a story of a two life long friends, who after years of friendship, on the night of a very special occasion one friend shared the real story of the power of their connection. This is that story…
One day, when I was in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all of his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.
As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward Kyle. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw the glasses land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him, so I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, and said, “Those guys are jerks. They really need to get a life.” He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now, and I thought, I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with my friends and me. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with carrying this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college and university, and it looked like we may end up going to different universities. But I knew that we would always be friends, and that the distance and being apart would never be a problem.
Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd and being such a keener. He had to prepare a speech for graduation, but I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.
On Graduation day, I saw Kyle and he looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had lots of dates and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was a little jealous, and today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech, so I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and he smiled and said, “Thanks”.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who have helped you make it through those tough years; your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you my story of friendship.”
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying all of his books and his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable. “I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize the depth of our connection.
“Many people will walk in and out of your life… But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”… Eleanor Roosevelt.
Reinforce Your Connections and Build the Strength of Your Community
Relationships are critical to us. Beginning with the relationship you have with yourself and building from there, to include the people you love, and the people within your close community. I invite you to contact us for a consultation and allow us to provide you with the tools to build powerful relationships and strong communities.
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The story of Kyle was drawn from Chicken Soup for the Soul.