E. M. Forster’s famous exclamation in Howards End.
But what does it mean? To connect?
Brené Brown defines “connection” as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
In The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brown makes a strong point for connection:
“As a matter of fact, we are hardwired for connection. It’s in our biology. From the time we are born, we need connection to thrive emotionally, physically, spiritually, and intellectually. A decade ago, the idea that we’re ‘wired for connection’ might have been perceived as touchy-feely or New Age. Today, we know that the need for connection is more than a feeling or a hunch. It’s hard science. Neuroscience, to be exact.”
The author goes on to cite Daniel Goleman’s findings in biology and neuroscience, confirming how our relationships shape our biology as well as our experiences (Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships).
Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection is an ode to connection: you’ll find hundreds of references to connection and connecting in her exploration of the many facets of what it means to be human, to love and relate. You’ll also realize how “real and dangerous” the consequences of disconnection are for us.
Early on, Brené Brown exposes the way in which technology has become “a kind of imposter for connection, making us believe that we’re connected when we’re really not… we’ve confused being communicative with feeling connected. Just because we’re plugged in, doesn’t mean we feel seen and heard.”
Have you been dating online lately? How connected do you feel with those prospective dates?
Are you addicted to checking e-mails and being online, when you might surround yourself with real people and enjoy sharing companionship, intimacy and loving attention?
There’s also the myth of self-sufficiency:
“One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on ‘going it alone.’ Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone…It’s as if we’ve divided the world into ‘those who offer help’ and ‘those who need help’. The truth is that we are both.”
Brown continues, “Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
Are you asking for and receiving the help you need?
Are you surviving when, with a little help, you could be thriving?
Ultimately, this is a call to live Wholeheartedly:
“The Wholehearted journey is not the path of least resistance. It’s a path of consciousness and choice…it’s a little counterculture. The willingness to tell our stories, feel the pain of others, and stay genuinely connected in this disconnected world is not something we can do halfheartedly.
To practice courage, compassion, and connection is to look at life and the people around us, and say, ‘I’m all in.'” (Excellent relationship advice, if you ask me.)
In this book, Brown does not expound on sex, beyond making the obvious point that we’re invariably the victims of received values and in dire need of recovering our authenticity sexually, just as we must we shake off false notions of “normalcy”, feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy and all kinds of self-destructive behaviour.
What better place to start than connecting with your own truth?
Would you like to connect with what’s truly authentic for you and begin to express, live and love in a way that’s more natural and fulfilling for you?
I could go on about connection. I might say it’s a simple, natural, innate feeling, a desire that’s close to the heart. But there’s so much more depth and richness in connection. I don’t believe that my words could ever adequately describe or explain what it means to connect — which is why I asked you to tell me what connecting is like for you!
You used many words. You spoke of trust. Bonding. Feeling cherished. Emotionally intimate. Feeling warmth. Openness. Being willing to exchange. A “Wow” feeling.
Your turn now!
Would you like to
- gain all-important clarity and answers to your most burning questions on intimacy and relationship
- identify and unravel blocks to love, communication and connection
- discover the joy and power that comes when you align body, mind and soul
- experience yourself more present and aware, more confident, authentic and alive?
I can help.
- Get connecting instantly at Soul Mate Connections events: join the Soul Mate Connections community on Meetup and Facebook for updates and invitations to events. Coming up: A Day of Soul Mate Connections with Ceremonial Cacao & Sound Bath, together with sound healer and Reiki master, San Lau. Ceremonial Cacao is a Medicine of the Heart, helping us to connect with and embody the joy in our hearts. A gentle healing journey balances the livelier music and dance part of this unique workshop experience. Read more and register.
- Get ahead with private coaching: start with a FREE Discovery session.
Or contact me to discuss a bespoke programme that’s perfect for you.