Somedays you want to break all human contact. Someone lets you down. You see so much corruption. You experience toxic situations in which people want to control you and others. You want to run away from people. You want to hole yourself up at home and have no human contact. But we’re just not wired that way. We all need connection.
If we knew just how powerfully our thoughts, words, and actions affected the hearts of those around us, we’d reach out and join hands again and again. – Tara Brach
We all need connection
On Saturday, I lost a classmate to cancer. We hadn’t met each other for over 30 years, until she contacted me a few months ago. Although we were never really close, I decided to meet her. We spent a couple of hours catching up on each other’s lives and I realized that we had the potential to be good friends. Alas, her time on earth was short. Since we lived in different cities, we stayed connected on Whatsapp these last few months. I remember, after I met her in person, she said to her brother, “I have one more person for me.”
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Another person who ‘sees’ us. Another person who ‘gets’ us. Another person who makes us feel like we matter.
It is said the northern Natal tribes in South Africa, greet one another every day, saying “Sawa Bona“, which means “I see you.” Their response is “Sikhona” which means “I am here.” In other words, they acknowledge the need for each other, saying ‘When you see me, I exist’; ‘When you see’ me, I become fully present’.
Read: Understanding Ubuntu
Sometimes we can be part of large families, be active in communities, be the life of the party and yet feel a lack of connection – feel like we are really not ‘seen’. I think it takes honesty and courage to acknowledge our need for genuine connection. It also takes time and effort to seek and nurture relationships that make us feel this sense of connection. But it’s worth it every single time!
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