LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS:
A Paradox – Part 1
The loving connections and loneliness paradox is apparent in my life. In spite of loving connections in my life, I experience intense, profound loneliness sometimes. In the past, I would attempt to escape the loneliness through unhealthy and healthy methods. Now I befriend loneliness or at least get to know it better!
This post will concentrate on the loving connection aspect of life. I will address the loneliness piece in the next post.
Loving connections are any type of relationships that contain a meeting of hearts or souls. These meetings may be short or long, simple or complex. Loving connections may include: friendships, significant other relationships, parent-child ones, parent-adult child bonds, or even a momentary interaction with a stranger or acquaintance. We each know and experience loving connections. Define it as you will!
Take a moment as you read this post to breathe. (After reading this paragraph, look up from the screen and breathe.) Life is often quite busy. I find myself skimming articles too much of the time. If you are able, sit. Relax. Breathe … take a deep breath … again … Spend a few moments thinking of the loving connections in your life.
The obvious relationships most likely come to mind first. The bonds with a significant other, spouse, child, parent, or friend are obvious. Friendships are quite important to me. Throughout one’s lifetime, deep, long-time friendships may form as well as shorter situational friendships. I have learned to cherish all types of friendships.
People who move frequently, such as people serving in the U.S. military and their families, often have to choose how to deal with these geographical moves on a relational level. I remember when I was first exposed to that type of lifestyle by the friendships I formed with people in the military. I found some adults choose to embrace the time spent in a given location, make friends (faster), enjoy the friendships, and deal with the grief of leaving friends behind when one left. Others would be less hesitant to form friendships on a deeper level. Why bother, they would think. The friends will leave or they themselves would leave. It hurt to no longer have friends in close proximity. Then there were people who alternated between the two modes. Each of us grieve in our own ways and handle life situations differently.
Friendships are unique. Fortunately, I have had friends throughout most of my life. I look back and see how both short and long-term friendships have benefitted me throughout many stages of my life. I am hopeful that friends in my life have also benefitted from my friendship!
“Good Friend” by Cloud Cult resonated with me. (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07pDgNMJbDo)
“All I need is a good good friend
To get me through this.
All I need is a good good friend
To help me out
When I’m burning down
When I’m all stressed out
Thank you for being around.”
Even when my daughter, Megan, and I were in hiding, as I was a protective parent attempting to keep my daughter safe from her father who abused her, friendships started to form. Kids and adults were in our lives, and friendships were formed relatively easily in these unforeseen circumstances. It amazed me then and it amazes me still how we were blessed!
What loving connections have you experienced this week that were not so obvious? Did your heart connect with a stranger without words even being exchanged? Maybe you sat in a house of worship or in a meditation room and felt connected by love to someone known or unknown to you. Did you rest in a park, walk through a neighborhood, or hike a trail and experience a connection of love and awe with nature and the universe?
Deep loving connections enrich us. We change. Others change. Love transforms us. The transformation may occur quite slowly or possibly suddenly. Often times, we do not realize how important our loving connection with another is. A kind word, a friendly touch on the arm, a hug, a smile, a look of commiseration and understanding … all of these connections can give others sustenance. Love, shown and experienced in small and big ways, matters. Love heals. Love triumphs!
As Marcel Proust stated:
“Let us be grateful to the people
who make us happy.
They are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.”
Take time this week to breathe! Sit. Notice your breath. Relax. Are you grateful for the loving connections in your life? Remember, you are a conduit for love. Allow yourself to notice how your love benefits other individuals and society.
A loving connection with yourself is quite important also. That is a topic for another day!
Enjoy a cup of tea this week alone or with someone!