Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Think of the people you have in your life with whom you connect—regardless of time and space. You don’t always know why. But when the dust of living settles, they’re the ones who are still present or they’re the brief encounters you never forget. I’ve built touching cyber relationships with people I’ll probably never meet as well as people I’ve come across in daily life. Some of my most wrenching connections have been with animals. Explaining true connection isn’t easy.
Recently, I viewed a blog by Anita Moorjani, a woman renowned for having been revived from terminal cancer by a lengthy, profound near-death experience (NDE) she described in her books. Two of her comments that resonated with me involved, first, that we are all—all living things—connected, and second, that she’s often lonely for lack of people who fully understand what she’s trying to communicate. I mentioned animals, but people rarely consider why they can form such poignant relationships with pets. They assume it’s all about unconditional love, but that kind of love arises from a connection that’s deeper than ownership or exposure. That kind of love ignores details of identity.
Textbooks step over the issue of “soul friends.” When I taught interpersonal communication, I used to say friendships are fashioned out of similarities and sometimes opposites. Friendship can be superficial. Even family closeness can be tested by distance or differing interests. My birth family exploded due to conflicting religions. Our filial love runs strong, but our connections are fragile at best.
My mother used to ask me why I had such weird friends. At the time, I didn’t know what to say beyond that I liked them. The answer is my friends she disdained were people whose trials had opened avenues of light or vulnerability within, and they trusted me. The same is true of my connections today. They are raw truth with me as I am with them. Our connections are unconditional if difficult to define. With most, I have little to nothing in common beyond a belief in goodness, but I can feel their essences—their souls, if you will. I felt the three who eventually died as they approached death. The few precious connections I have currently nourish me.
Although I believe we’re all connected beneath judgment, certain people feel dangerous. Being around them is like gripping the hand of someone whose other hand is holding a live electric wire. Fear, ignorance, and hostility crackle from them toward me—even when the hostility is not about me. They cultivate divisions between people. When I love someone who’s gripping negativity like that, I feel angry frustration. I want the people I love to realize the beauty and wealth of unconditional empathetic connection. I’ve learned the hard way that we must each make our own choices.
Moorjani says beneath our identities and everyday lives, we’re all facets of a Divine Source. If her description doesn’t feel comfortable for you, that’s okay. You connect with people who are in the same approximate emotional space as you. Besides, not all conversations fit with all people in all times and places. If you and I can’t connect now, perhaps some other time…
I knew you’d understand, Frances.