The need to feel connected

We all feel a need to be connected, to someone, to a place, to an idea, whatever it takes….

It’s a valid need of course, feeling connected also gives you a context, sometimes an identity and a deep sense of belonging. However natural and sound this need is, it has become somewhat warped in today’s world.

There is a false and volatile sense of connectedness that has been made substitute for the real deal. The connectedness based on fear and hate, and one glance at the so called social media confirms that.

If you refuse to be swayed this way and that and decide to take a look from above, it’s obvious that this is in fact anything but connectedness, it’s separation parading as connectedness. True connecteness springs out of love and is inclusive, co-operative and wise, while this false sense of connectedness through fear and hate is narrowminded, petty and, well, dumb.

People pat each other’s backs agreeing on all sort of things, from politics, sexuality, religion to which football team to support and get this false sense of connectedness, forgetting that today’s hero might be tomorrow’s villain. It’s all a matter of perspective, and perspectives change, especially perspectives that allow for an element of fear or hate. The fake security of a temporary “we” can change in an instant. All the ideas, movements and groups that are fear-based are banking on the herd-mentality which just as easily could be described as intellectual laziness and/or a mind incapable of discernment due to an overdose of fear.

In today’s world, most of us are stressed out and consequently have an overworked amygdala, which signals danger most of the time. This in turn actually blurrs the capacity of the pre-frontal cortex to the degree where wise decision and clear thinking are garbled. You see why this is a good thing when you want to herd people in this or that direction?

Fear has been used to manipulate, separate and conquer since the beginning of time, but it has never produced any long-term or stable solutions.

Take this holiday season to give yourself a rest. A rest from the fear, a sigh of relief. Use it to take a discerning look at what the media, the politicians, the news and all those who want a piece of your pay cheque really are selling and decide to not buy into it anymore.

It’s called “main stream” for a reason. This main stream, whether it is media, politics or education, is polluted, toxic and a hazard to your health. It is only there to manipulate you. You don’t need to stay in it.

Take it one step at a time. Stop watching the “news”, refrain from hanging out on the social media platforms, take a break and take back your power. Make your own mind up, based on your gut feelings, your love, your wisdom. This and nothing else will reduce this poisonous flood that keeps the inhabitants of this planet in constant terror, to an insignificant trickle that cannot cause any harm..

Not feeling loved felt better….

All my life I’ve come up with reasons for not feeling loved, or rather for not loving myself. “Aha, it’s because I’ve gained weight, because I’m not successful, because I’m not wealthy, because I’m not…..enough”. It felt better, very familiar and obviously safer than accepting that this story, that I’ve told myself all my life, was simply not true. The story being that I can’t be loved until….”that” whatever that is, happens.

Like the proverbial donkey and the carrott I’ve been on this futile chase of that eternally elusive carrott. To not feel loved (yet) gave me a sense of “being able to find the answer”, as in being in control, and every time, which have been many, I thought I found it, it started my motivational engine and had it running full speed, for a while. This feeling of never really measuring up to the imagined standards for receiving that love, I can, if I want to put a positive spin on it,  choose to view as a motivational surge to always do better which has helped me achieve some small successes. I grew so used to that hunger, that energy of “when I get there”, I thought it was a fact of life.

When I heard about unconditional love, I immediately knew that this was what I felt for my daughter, my pets, nature, the planet in general. That this was an option for me as well, never really occurred to me. That’s how out of my experience it was. And I adjusted and even built my life upon it. It has been a slow and very incremental kind of road to understanding and letting go, I admit.

After having been on this “quest” to understand why I never felt enough, safe and loved, for such a long time, it felt kind of petty to realize that through all these layers of “that’s it”, it  all came back to me wanting my father to love me. I thought it would be something bigger, more advanced, more mindblowing. But it wasn’t. I have of course realized that he didn’t love me unconditionally before, I have mourned it, worked with it and thought I had left it behind. This is what I mean by “incremental”.

It didn’t result in me being enveloped in a sudden blissed out state of self love, not at all. Actually I find comfort in that sense of “it” finally being deflated, because as of right now, there are no new expectations. It’s more like when you’ve finished a book, it’s done.

 

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Give yourself permission to unwind

Unwind is such a suggestive word for me. When I repeat the word in my head I see this twisted rope, twisted to the point of bursting and suddenly the tension goes and the rope unwinds before my eyes. It goes into thousands of tiny threads that just hang loose and the feeling I get from it is a very deep sense of relaxation.

The word “relax” does not do the trick for me in the same way. Unwind helps my entire being to feel the unwinding being done. “Being done” is key here.

We do wind ourselves up, harder and harder and our minds and bodies are in a twist. Instead of feeling soft and loose, we feel tense and edgy. All those twists along the way are experiences of pain, and instead of allowing them some space, we tense up and before we know it our entire system is like a big ball of yarn twisted and pulled into uselessness. But to give ourselves permission to unwind, allow the twists to naturally undo themselves, just granting ourselves this permission, feels expansive and freeing.

Just as if you had twisted a piece of string  to the point of breaking you would sort of step back when you let go of it, the same goes for unwinding your being. You take a step back, as in sitting calmly, breathing and allowing it to happen. Not by remembering, analysing or getting caught in any specific twist, just releasing your hold for a while and let it.

Tension, contraction or an urgent need to stay “in control” tells you that it’s time to unwind. The more tension the more strangled your channels for creativity, inspiration, wisdom and even joy, will be. We believe that the more we effort, achieve or strain the greater the result, but it’s the other way around.

Taking a step back, for a minute, an hour, a full afternoon to just unwind, no demands, no “to-do’s”, no checking the internet, just silence and allowing your mental and emotional momentum to sloooooow down will give you unimagined benefits. Don’t unwind to get anything though, the unwinding in and of itself is it’s own reward.