Connection is a vital part of the human experience.
It allows us to love, share in one another’s experiences, and make special bonds with those of whom we call friends and family. Connection allows us to feel alive, and it helps us develop a feeling of acceptance. In today’s world, we seem to be on a downslide of connecting. I often ask myself, if something is so vital to many of us, then why are we losing touch with connecting to others, but more importantly, ourselves?
For many of us, we long to belong, to fit in, and to be respected by our peers. Although we think of trying to fit in with the cool kids as a grade or high school thing, it is alive and prevalent in our adult world. We crave to be the popular one, the one that shines brightest, the one that everyone gets excited to see when we walk in a room. Despite all the effort we put into finding acceptance with our peers, we become the proverbial dog chasing the tail it can never catch.
As I tell all my students, our childhood is the origin of all the issues that we will face as adults. We often never realize that the roots of all our chaos that we face as adults stem from our childhood experiences. The feeling of being connected is no different. It is one that is rooted deeply within us because we did not experience the fundamental connections that we desired as kids.
One of the hardest challenges we must come to terms with is having the strength to accept the experiences we cannot change. Why is this so challenging, you ask? It’s because of our ego, at least the unhealthy side of it. We must understand that the chaotic side of the ego is broken down into two parts, the victim and the survivor. The victim is what makes us feel that we need to chase ideas that we are without and be envious of those we see with the connections we crave. The victim enjoys to play us like puppets, always creating a false sense of disconnection to us and the world around us and making us blind to ourselves by changing our perception of what we are experiencing. If we are to grow in strength and become confident in all areas of our lives, then we must learn to dissolve the unhealthy ego and develop a connection with the healthy one.
You’re probably asking yourself how a healthy ego looks. It’s simple! Imagine seeing yourself in the mirror, and you love what you see. There is no judgment, no shame, no poking at parts we want to change. Imagine again; you are confident, have the awareness that you can do anything you want, and that each day you live your life for you. That your relationships are healthy, the harsh words by others do not affect your moods; you don’t feel the need to fight, become angry, or become better than everyone else. You are simply you! Isn’t that a wonderful feeling?
These ideas of having a connection with self are not fantasy. They are real, pure, and powerful. Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the bold, confident person I am today. I was treated very poorly in my childhood, and I developed a very low sense of self-esteem. I had no confidence in life, and I just drifted through life searching for a place to belong. Bullying was as big of a problem back in the back as it is today. Not only was I treated very harshly by the kids I grew up with, but I wasn’t the best student in school. Because they didn’t know too much about Dyslexia and ADHD wasn’t heard of yet, my grades were often very bed. The teachers did not think well of me, and because of that, I grew apart from myself. I tell you this because I want you to understand that with a little self-work, we can turn our life around. As I got older, I learned that we find nothing outside of us and that all the popularity, fame and championships bring you nothing but a brief moment of pleasure. True gratification comes from developing a healthy relationship with ourselves. Once we accomplish this, developing genuine, lasting, loving connections with friends and family becomes easy. We no longer hold those accountable for what was missing in our lives, and we can enjoy life for what it’s meant to be, experienced!