I arrived out of mother's womb wanting to connect to the world around me more than I wanted anything else.
I cannot remember a time when that desire to empathize with and to understand another and to also receive empathy and understanding wasn't there, wasn't somehow being manifested in some quiet way at least, or actively yet discreetly being woven into the very fabric of every dream I had for my life and every experience I wanted to have.
I've always had the longing to be seen for me, seen for who I truly am, seen for all that is in my heart and inner most depths.
Connecting has always been my deepest, truest, most authentic driving force, long before I ever had the words to describe this desire to give of the treasure of my soul in hopes of it resonating with another so that a bond could be formed.
And I've always been insatiably hungry for another's truth and desire to bare their soul as well.
But here is the rub: it is easier to connect when one is a child, when the being is still fresh, still gorgeously porous and present, still remembering all of the truths of the universe that were whispered into the ear before birth, before the amnesia set in...
Now, more than ever, we long to hear each other's stories, to learn from one another's experiences, to feel one another's joys and pains, because it helps us to navigate our own experiences...
As we grow older, and become buried under society's mechanical and rote way of doing things, under society's urging to be “safe” and to rather stay comfortable and not rock the boat too much—to push down originality, to measure our words and keep things nice and tidy—our insouciance and our courage to reach into our depths to bring out who we really are, and what we truly have to offer of value to one another, begins to fade.
It takes courage, indeed, to show up in a real and meaningful way each and every day, but that is how genuine connection is made.
It takes courage to get quiet and gaze into the dark well, the inner parts of one's self where the genuine resides, and ask, “Who am I, and what is the most valuable thing I have to give to the world? What is that bit of truth that if it isn't shared, I'd potentially be robbing humanity of something that could make a difference or create movement?”, but that is how genuine connection is made.
It takes courage to get nakedly real, and to create and to share from the depths of one's very being in hopes that what is being offered—be it an experience, a story, a thought, an idea, a business—is accepted and not mocked (which sadly, many times it is, by those who they themselves are not courageous), but that is how genuine connection is made.
We live in times when our connection to one another—what we bring to the table that is of true inner value—is the currency with which we operate.
Now, more than ever, we long to hear each other's stories, to learn from one another's experiences, to feel one another's joys and pains, because it helps us to navigate our own experiences and, perhaps, gain some hope and understanding of the human condition.
Connection is what we're starving for, what we can't get enough of.
But it takes each and every one of us contributing the most authentic and nakedly real parts of ourselves—the good, the bad and the ugly—to make a lasting difference that will keep us connected.
Taste what's good and pass it on.