“I’ve been feeling disconnected from you”, I told a friend the other day. She replied, “That’s weird. I actually feel very connected to you. You’ve been a lot on my mind lately.”
This simple interaction, which spontaneously emerged during a brief telephone conversation, got me thinking about how we all experience this thing we call connection differently.
In my 4 Dimensions of Relationships video, I share that there’s four levels of connection we get to experience with others: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Clearly, to my friend, feeling connected to me meant holding thoughts or intentions about me in her mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is one way of experiencing connection.
But the truth is, my heart seeks a deeper level of connection, the same one Brené Brown refers to in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, where she defines connection as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
The type of connection she describes includes and transcends the level of our minds, to include the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being. This, I believe is the only place where true, powerful, and meaningful heart to heart connections can be made, and where they can grow and eventually thrive.
As Heart Leaders, our job is to create and experience more of these types of connections on a day-to-day basis, assigning top priority to those relationships that will allow us to nurture and be nurtured, feel and be felt, seen and feel seen, and be fully and wholeheartedly present with each other…
To be present physically means I’m here, physically for you. That you can count with my physical warmth, my heart beat, my touch and my hugs.
To be present mentally means I’m holding you in my mind, in my thoughts, and at the center of what I know is the highest possibility for your life.
To be present emotionally, means I give myself permission to be with your emotions, both positive and negative ones without trying to change you, make you feel better, or heal you.
To be present spiritually means I become the witness to your existence as you walk The Path of the Heart, sharing your experiences, supporting and nurturing you.
The truth is that what I really wanted to tell my friend but didn’t, was that I needed to feel seen, heard, and valued by her. Not from a place of neediness, but from the basic human need to have a witness to our existence and to feel connected to each other, not just mentally or electronically via Social Media, but physically, emotionally and spiritually.
These are the wires that connect us.
Photo Credit: Sculpture “Love” by Alexander Milov