I have been thinking about connection a lot lately. Not just talking about it or teaching it, but actually what it looks like in everyday life. I have three daughters. They are emotional beings who remind me daily of our need for connection. I don’t need a scientific study to prove to me that we need others in our life. If you, however, do need a study to prove this to you, email me and I will send you a list.
When things are going along swimmingly and our work and personal life are full we don’t really think about connection. When we are home on a random Saturday evening and our social media is blowing up with how much fun everyone else is having, we understand its power. This is one of the reasons I loathe social media. We can receive the message that everyone else is connected, loved, and having the time of their lives while we are sitting at home. It reinforces this idea that we have no friends and our life is empty. You think I am being dramatic? Ask anyone between the ages of 13-24 and I think they will tell you it’s true.
There is a reason that solitary confinement is a punishment. We need other people in our lives. You might be thinking how much you like your alone time. I get it. I like quiet just as much as the next person, but in the big picture, we need others.
“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” -Brené Brown
I don’t need to look any further than my own family to see this played out. Time and time again I have consoled one my daughters who was home alone on the weekend, had a run of bad luck in the friend department, or broke up with a boyfriend. It’s not pretty, but we’ve all been there. The important thing is to realize that we are wired for connection, get back up on the horse when we are bucked off and try again. I always tell my girls their tribe is out there. They just have to keep looking.
Lately, the hubby and I have been trying to get out more; be with friends. Connect. It’s not always easy. He has friends from work. I have my posse. They don’t always mix, but when they do it’s like chocolate and peanut butter or margaritas and…well, really what else do you need?
Recently, we have been going out with a couple that we have known for years. She is my person and while our hubbies have always gotten along, they are usually just along for the ride. Well, that changed when her hubby texted my hubby about going out to see a comedy show a few months ago. My hubby was so giddy he called me right away to tell me. In the process of telling me he realized that perhaps we were both invited and this was a couple’s thing. I’m not going to lie. I think he was a little disappointed. There it was. The need for connection right before my very eyes. Who knew? I actually thought I was all he needed.
It turns out that it was a couple’s thing and even though they had to drag their wives along, we all had a great time. Some of us more than others, but that is for another blog. Sure, there was the minor issue of the show being sold out and not actually having tickets, but when your party planner is a pilot there is always standby. Yes, all four of us managed to get tickets on standby so he lived to plan again.
Our second outing we stepped it up and were able to get three tickets ahead of time and have dinner prior to the show. This whole connecting with other people was fun. Now if we could just combine connecting with planning ahead we might just hit a home run.
Interestingly enough once you start connecting with people you want to do it more. We invited another couple to join us. The pressure was mounting. It was decided that planning might be a necessity rather than optional. Getting six people into a show on standby might be pushing it. We, meaning the wives, also decided that the planning should be left to our hubbies.
We are going out again this weekend and other than offering our pithy little comments, we are letting the boys plan the whole thing. It’s a science experiment, if you will. We are purely testing our hypothesis that they will form a deeper bond in the midst of showing off their mad party planning skills.
I believe this example proves that there is a friend out there for everyone. If you happen to be out this weekend and see some guys standing in the parking lot wearing PI shirts or perhaps eating pie, point them in the direction of the bar. That’s where the wives will be. Connecting with the bartender.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G