Image via Wikipedia
Self-Care Tip #157 – Don’t depend on yourself to find connection.
We are people of a greater ability to bond than our senses, emotions, intuition, reason or technology can account for. Our connection to each other and to God supersedes our belief in connection. In this discussion, I am looking at “connection” beyond the paradigm of our perceptions. Although connection between me and you is all about me and you, our bond also transcends either of us.
Meet gorgeous Candy. She refuses any medications that might change her appearance in any way, ie. increase her appetite. She would rather freeze in a catatonic state and die thin than gain weight. She has come to me after years of struggling with irritability, anger, depression and anxiety. She has never seen a psychiatrist although these emotions have misshapen her relationships, crippled her parenting skills, and removed her from her community of friends and one marriage. Her medical condition continues to threaten Candy’s connection with her own self. It continues to threaten her connections with her now teenage children and her second marriage. Candy tells me that she doesn’t feel anything for her husband. When she says this, she looks at me expectantly, as if she just released a big revelation.
When people are initiating treatment, I try not to get into anything personal too much. Although I gather their personal history, I don’t give much feedback. I try not to discuss their desire to make sense of all their conflicting feelings. Sometimes they ask me questions, advice, directives and that’s natural. However, it would be misguided to answer those questions, because we can’t let our emotions guide us. I tell them,
Let’s revisit these questions after the treatment has time to take effect and you feel more like yourself.
It’s medical but still magical. In four to eight weeks, they often hardly remember the questions they had. The negativity is just a haze in their past. The resilience comes with emotional health and copes with the simple stressors that used to sever interpersonal emotional ties.
Candy was one of the lucky ones who found the magic. She felt self-trust more than she had felt her entire life. Feeling safe with your own self is wonderful. Much of the population who has not been where Candy has been can’t say the kind of thank you that Candy can. They don’t know what it means to be lost and then found in this way. Candy has something very special.
Yet when we think of Candy’s sense of connection, we also look beyond the biology of it. I did spend some time describing how biology can change our perception of connection, but I didn’t do it to explain how connections are formed. I described it more to demonstrate that we cannot depend on ourselves to define connections.
Don’t stumble on the philosophies around adjustment issues and conditioning. Connection with others exists regardless of our fortune in family, money, treatment or maltreatment, biology, and self. We are connected because there is a force of connection created and present in all of nature, regardless.
Madeleine L’Engle, wrote in “A Stone for a Pillow,”
Perhaps what we are called to do may not seem like much, but the butterfly is a small creature to affect galaxies thousands of light years away.
Our connections are there regardless of where we are at in life. I would even take it further to say that connections to us even survive the cutting blow from death.
Connection is an eternal truth. It makes a difference to us just to know that, but even if we didn’t, it doesn’t change our connection.
Question: How do you make sense of your changing perception of connections in your life? Please tell me your story.