3 Ways to Create Connection
We have been witnessing and experiencing a lot of separation happening in the world as of late: Brexit, mass murders and attacks on targeted groups and populations, and our very own divided nation. States want to succeed. Political structures are polarized. Separation and the act of “othering” has been happening since the dawn of time with war, religion, gender, etc. The irony is that human beings are wired for connection. Yet, we continue to build the great divide between “us” and “them,” inside ourselves and out.
“Surrender means not giving in to another, but giving in to Love.”
~ Deepak Chopra
1. Notice the Divide
It’s difficult to create connection when we continue to see ourselves as separate. Separation may feel more safe, because we don’t have to face or feel the pain of being vulnerable and we don’t have to take responsibility for our part of the separation. When we keep ourselves separate, we can’t be hurt or abandoned. Noticing the divide between “us” and “them” helps us to see where, when, why and how we disengage. It helps us to gather the parts of our own selves we have separated ourselves from. Most importantly, it opens up the opportunity to build a bridge in creating connection.
2. Find the Middle
A pattern throughout history has been the polarization between opposites. The pendulum swings from one side to the other without finding the middle. It’s this, or that; us, or them; black or white. This is another version of avoiding the pain and discomfort of vulnerability, which also serves to perpetuate separation. No one has to take responsibility when fingers are pointing at the other. One way to work towards finding the middle is to let go of our assumptions and to become curious.
“The person you call your enemy is an exaggerated aspect of your shadow self.”
~ Deepak Chopra
3. Honor Self and Other
Every one of us is different. It’s not possible that every one can, will, or “should,” for that matter, be the same. Ironically, what often gets in the way of connection is our differences. Trying to make everyone the same according to the dominant paradigm, or by raising or lowering everybody to the same level dishonors where others are at. This is another attempt to remove ourselves from the discomfort of perceived and/or real differences and the unknown that comes with those. When we can honor the perceived or real differences of self and other, we can begin to build a bridge to understanding. When we can let go of our assumptions and judgements, we can build the bridge to connection.
“Avoiding something, Dear One, draws it ever near.
Defending yourself can become a full time job.
And worrying about things that might never happen increases their chances of happening.
Yet still, you are 10,000 times more likely to laugh than cry, be healthy than sick, live rich than poor, have friends than be alone.
That’s the kind of momentum you’ve garnered through countless lifetimes of love. That’s the kind of power you long ago learned to master. And, quite frankly, those were the odds you negotiated.
You’re just another part of me,