Connect with Courtesy
Today we’re living in a society that habitually sweeps anything unpleasant under the rug. Legitimate concerns, nah, it’s fine. A time to speak up about something, someone else will. Picking up the phone to connect with a friend, we’ll just bug them. A feeling that we should be doing something more with our lives, maybe tomorrow.
Connect to be Disconnected
In a time where anyone can say anything they wish over the web and not truly be heard. Social media has us more connected than ever and yet nearly half of Americans report feeling alone (46%) or left out (47%). We witness life going by and yet we struggle to really grasp it for ourselves.
So, How are you?
The question, “How are you” has been on my mind a lot lately. This year has been a real challenge for me, needless to say things have not been rainbows and butterflies. So, when I am out somewhere and someone asks me this question in passing I’ve noticed it has been a struggle to respond in an authentic way.
I have found that I initially respond with silence. Then I find myself holding my mouth open to say something, dropping it again, frowning, and then resuming as much as a smile as I can and saying “Good, how are you?”
Where does this disconnect come from these three casual words in our daily lives? How many times do we sputter this greeting out while completely disconnected from the other person to whom we are speaking to?
Recognizing Our Selves.
I know, feelings, gross! It is essential. If we cannot connect to ourselves and our true needs how can we listen truly have the time for another? This can be a simple practice of recognizing where we are in our present moment. When we can do this with as little judgement on ourselves as possible – you know, the drill, guilt trips, victim mentality, feelings you should be better than you are – and come from a place of love instead, we are able to really truly connect with ourselves.
nearly half of Americans report feeling alone (46%) or left out (47%)
Here is an example.
You wake up, you have a bad start to the day. You stayed up too late doing whatever. You didn’t have time to honor your morning routine so on top of tired you’re now cranky and upset with yourself. Instead of speeding out the door in a ball of fury onto the highways – pause. Take a breather. Trust me, you can spare 30 seconds.
Realize where you are in your own space. This can simply start with the acknowledge of what you are feeling, no matter what it is. “I am so mad at myself for staying up too late and oversleeping!” Then with the love, “I realize I am angry, and I send compassion to myself for oversleeping.”
These small reminders back to ourselves will start a new pattern of allowing us to tap into how we are feeling in each moment, whether it be a pleasant or not so pleasant emotion.
Hold the space for others.
Then when we are in a social situation when the fated question comes up, maybe we can take a moment or two to really connect with the other person we are speaking to. This doesn’t mean need to spend an hour chatting about the latest gossip with everyone we run into at all times.
However instead, this question can be an opportunity for a positive exchange of community from person to person. The person you pass in the hallway, the waiter for lunch, the grocery clerk checking out your groceries. If we can respond from a place other than the standard and on our way, maybe we can have more space within ourselves to hold for our community.