Let’s face it, there’s a difference between interacting with someone and truly connecting. An interaction is transactional, “Hi, how are you?” and a return of “Fine.” Even with more significant relationships, it’s still an acceptance of a surface statement, with no further inquiry, “I’m really having a hard time right now, but I’ll make it.” For the individuals who leave the conversation in this realm, this is an unspoken, perhaps unconscious, agreement to stay away from the depth of the pain, “I won’t really tell you about it, and you won’t ask.” In this agreement, you will avoid the immediate decent into the pain, but also evade the healing connection of walking with another through the pain.
Connecting is tearing down those invisible barriers that keep others at a distance. Connecting is allowing others to enter the pain, the joy, the shame, the apathy, and entering the same with them. Connection is only possible in the context of vulnerability. Without vulnerability, you have mere interaction, a kind of surface relationship that will leave both participants “safe” from knowing the true self of the other. Vulnerability opens the door to connection by allowing the face of the other to know your true self. It’s in this true knowing that connection will bring about lifelong change in all involved. Connection is creating a link.
Celebration and shared history creates bonds between individuals. These are beautiful bonds that can set the stage for creating much deeper bonds. But if our relationships only stay in the celebrant realm, there is still a part of ourselves we are hiding. This hidden part of ourselves is the invisible barrier to creating connection with another individual. When I can share the hard things of life, as well as the good, I begin to live well with the other, forming a true connection that can stand the test of time, and trial.
Connection is more than mere interaction. Connection is a vulnerable choice to allow another to see more of me, and looking for more in the other. Connection is entering the space between us. Connection is growing curious about the other, inquiring more deeply. Connection is taking steps to create a link between us.
We are aware of the magnitude of this subject matter and the inadequate brevity of this post. For more, please reference our podcasts, our 1Community groups, or feel free to email us at Uniquelythesame@mission1race.org.
We also wish to address our inability to consider issues of sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse in our discussions on developing oneness. If you are in an abusive situation of any kind, we encourage you to seek professional or other help, and to realize that this content does not necessarily apply to your situation.