Connection: Our Deepest DesireBy Dr. Margaret Paul
January 28, 2013
We all deeply desire connection with others, but what is necessary for us to have this?
When we were born, the most important thing to us was connection with our mother. We needed connection with her body for adequate sustenance. We needed emotional connection with her, or with someone, to feel safe, and to develop the ability to regulate our feelings. Connection with someone was essential to our physical survival and our emotional well being.
When we are fortunate enough to have a healthy experience of connection with our parents, we grow up feeling loved, lovable and safe. But in order to have this healthy connection, our parents or other caregivers need to be connected with themselves. They cannot fully connect with us if they are disconnected from themselves.
To the degree that our parents or caregivers did not role model inner connection with themselves and offer us the connection we needed, it is likely that we developed a deep unmet yearning within us; we also missed out on learning how to connect with ourselves. This lack of inner connection often creates feelings of despair within. Connection is such a basic need that without it we feel alone and empty.
Research indicates that strong connections with family and friends – connections that make us feel safe and loved – are essential for happiness and health. People who live in caring communities live longer, happier lives than people who live alone or with others with whom they are not connected.
Too often, we try to fill our need for connection without first healing our inner disconnection. The failure of many marriages and intentional communities is a testament to the futility of trying to create loving relationships and caring communities without first doing the inner work necessary to be connected with oneself. The neediness and controlling behavior that dominates relationships between people who are not connected with themselves is what is responsible for the high divorce rate and the failure of many communities.
Connection Must Start With Self and Higher Self
In order to manifest our deepest desire to connect in a loving way with others, we first need to learn to connect in a loving way with ourselves. What this means is that we need to learn to be present with a compassionate intent to learn from all of our feelings – especially our painful feelings. The moment you reject your own feelings by ignoring them, judging them, turning to addictions to avoid feeling them, or making another person responsible for them, you are disconnecting from yourself - abandoning yourself and making it impossible to connect with another.
Start now to do the thing that will make the most difference in your life regarding your happiness and joy. Start now to practice Step One of Inner Bonding – learning to be fully present with your feelings with acceptance and compassion for them. Then move into Step Two of Inner Bonding – choosing the intent to learn about what is loving to yourself and what is true for you. Start now to take 100% responsibility for your own feelings by moving into Step Three of Inner Bonding - learning what your feelings are telling you about your own beliefs and behavior, and about others and situations – rather than avoiding your feelings. Start now to develop a strong connection with your personal source of guidance by moving into an intent to learn with your guidance about love and truth, and start now taking loving action based on the truth in Step Five of Inner Bonding. Finally, evaluate, in Step Six of Inner Bonding, how you are feeling as a result of the loving action.
Creating an inner connection with your feelings and your higher self is essential to being able to create a loving connection with others, and experiencing the joy and fullness that comes from sharing your love.
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Today, notice if your intent is to get love or approval from others or to give love to yourself and others. Trying to get love or approval will always end up causing suffering. Giving love to yourself and others brings joy.
By Dr. Margaret Paul