We are social animals. Because of this, feeling disconnected is an opening for depression to seep inside.
Looking back I can see that connection has always been something I felt missing. Perhaps because my family moved so much I have always craved connection with others so that I could plant my roots and grow. A constant feeling of being out of touch with my peers (and intense bullying)contributed to feeling like an outcast. Now I understand that connection is not about being in one place or popular, but finding those who share similar thoughts hopes, dreams and aspirations for not just ourselves, but the world. It seems to be a matter of planting your roots in those ideas.
Compounding the need for connection is the amount of violence that is ever-present in our lives and our entertainment. There’s the school bully, deep seeded prejudice, racist governments, police brutality, war, genocide, etc. How does anyone heal from that?
They seem to do it out of a deep knowledge that WE have so much potential. That WE can heal together and each of us are in control of our response to the world.
Have you ever…
…joined a support group?
…talked to a therapist?
…joined a team to solve a problem?
…attended a rally or marched for justice?
If so how did you feel?
Did you feel connected, make friends and become more involved?
Despite violence and fear that overwhelmed my youth, I’ve learned to heal, to release the pain. Why? Because I feel like all is good because there is an abundance of energy that is ours for the absorbing. Isn’t this what wise women(and men and children) have been teaching us throughout the ages, to surrender to the idea that we always have access to this abundance if we CHOOSE to access it? I definitely feel inner balance when I believe there is an abundance of peace and love that I can always access, if I choose. Most of the time it is a concentrated effort, but it’s slowly becoming an automatic habit. There are still times of doubt, fear, grief and pain, but I know healing is possible.
Throughout my years of depression I did socialize, but not often with those whom I felt a deep connection. I tended to need acceptance so much I would force it on whoever was closest and eventually that faux relationship would crumble. So I volunteered which gave me more opportunities. Still even that wasn’t enough to make me feel connected. Unknowingly I had to find my “tribe” of people who were on similar journey. Finally I did. I found them through being myself and pursing what is most significant to me. I attended activism rallies, volunteered and offered support to people I genuinely liked, moved to a new area of the city and said YES more often to invitations. I started offering my self-defense classes free. I accept gifts of support and ask for help. As shy as I can be, I even attended a party, convinced that if I simply acted like my true self I would enjoy it. So I went to a party where I didn’t know anyone and felt relaxed enough to create genuine connections.
This new tribe is not all in one place and not all are close friends, but just being surrounded by people who accept me, as is, gives me energy. It’s just like finding solace at home. Family has always been my solace because it feels safe and loving. All the years of faux friendships hindered my growth because I was not being true to myself. I was simply trying not to be alone, not to be an outcast. I wasn’t trying enough, I wasn’t exploring or moving past my comfort zone.
I’m so amazingly grateful for these new friends and neighbors who have created a safe space for me to thrive. I know if more of us can learn to feel connected we can stop the apathy and fear that plagues or world. It’s a knowledge deep in my bones.
Are you ready to connect?
- ONLY say YES to new opportunities IF they resonate with you. Don’t waste your time in groups or places that go against your grain.
- Focus your energy on what’s significant, on your passion, on finding inner balance.
- Start exploring. Talk to people, ask questions, read books and learn about the world. Don’t just absorb the bad stuff on the news.
- Turn off that TV, put down your phone, get away from the negative media images. The mass media is built around advertising. It’s not about creativity or connection. It’s about profit.
- Learn to love yourself and that will help to attract people who love themselves and in turn you.
- Say farewell to relationships and work that pull you away from your true self.
- Practice feeling comfortable in your own skin. Be yourself around loved ones and when you’re strong enough continue to be yourself everywhere you go.
This isn’t random advice, these are all actions I took toward creating a healthier life. It was challenging at first. When I started doing this I was scared of judgement and being cast away, but it made me stronger. Now when I am true to myself good things are attracted back to me. I’m not financially wealthy or über popular and haven’t accomplished all my goals, but I’m finally living.
I hope this helps you to live a happier life as well. Like this? Read more of my D.I.Y. Therapy Posts.
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