The Connection Confusion
We all want connection. As per Brene Brown, we are neurobiologically engineered to connect. What I find fascinating is that we as humans seem to do as much as we possibly can to cause separation.
During the years that I have been a life coach, I have witnessed the many different ways in which my clients would disconnect from their closest relationships. I could clearly see the person I was talking to wanted to connect, to love and to be loved, but they were holding themselves back. They were showing up in their relationships holding their hand out in front of them- keeping those that they love at an arm’s length away. I was eager to help them, but I didn’t know how. At the time, I wasn’t able to help my clients as it wasn’t my area of forte- so I just observed it. I was utterly intrigued by what I was witnessing and kept wondering how I could help them. Well, ask and ye shall receive!
Over the past two years, I have been able to unravel the mystery as I watched myself DO THE SAME THING! I had no idea I was showing up in my life in such a fashion.
Through counseling (yup- you got it! This awesome life-coach went to counseling!) I was able to see how I separated myself from others. I was able to pinpoint the exact moment in which I was doing it as if watching myself from the outside. I would say in my head ‘you’re doing it right now Arianne! You are keeping this person an arm’s length away, pushing them away’- yet knowing that all I wanted was to feel the other person’s heart, to let them see and feel mine….but I just couldn’t. I was so scared and petrified to a place of feeling paralyzed in moments. I was scared that other’s would find out I was a fraud. I was scared if they got too close, they’d see I wasn’t a good person; that I was messy (inside), unlovable, not good enough, not smart enough and on and on…….I had spent the majority of my life making sure that nobody got too close, for fear that they would not like the ‘real me’ and I would end up alone. I wore a mask just like everyone else. I wanted connection yet I kept other’s at a distance away because I was scared to end up alone if I let them in. Oh-so-human!
After spending countless times observing my behavior, I was ready to make some changes. I started to dissect ‘why’ I showed up the way I did. In-the-moment, I would start to notice that familiar feeling of wanting to pull back, separate, and RUN! I would take some breaths and dissect what my limiting belief was at that moment. Why did I feel the need to stop being vulnerable? Why did I want to keep this person that I love away from me?
I would ask myself ‘how can I connect at this moment? What do I need to do so that I may connect with this person standing in front of me?’ and then I would start the scary task of activating connection.
The first time I allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to connect, I thought I might have a heart attack; I was so scared. This helped me to see how the patterns, limiting beliefs, and ego-mind had a strong hold on me. Just before the moment where I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the unknown abyss of vulnerability, I thought I might die! I remember many of those moments in fact. For months I would get shaky legs, my heart would race, and I had to catch my breath. But what pushed me was my desire for something different. I wanted to open my heart to another, and I wanted to be accepted and loved unconditionally- in my mess and all! I wanted to start showing up in my life with authenticity, and I wanted to know that I was doing my best in every moment- no regrets.
Let me tell you, once I started to connect and allow others into my space, my relationships changed, but the one I am most proud of is the relationship I have with myself; It’s now built on self-love, self-acceptance and a whole lot of compassion.
There are still moments where I want to run, hide and say f*ck connection. In fact, there are moments where I still do! Those moments are healing moments for me. Maybe I didn’t feel safe enough to connect. Perhaps my old limiting beliefs and habits got the better of me. But I can understand why now and that understanding is what brings forth self-compassion.
Now that I have this vast understanding of my Self, I am not only able to observe this in my clients, but I can help them sift through their own limiting beliefs, to understand them in hopes that they can start connecting with their loved ones.
Here’s my challenge to you- at any given moment when you are in conversation with someone, ask yourself ‘How can I connect right now?’ Or, if you’re alone and your desire is to connect with another how can you create that? Once you have an idea put it into action. Start to notice how you feel. You might be scared, you might be like me and feel like you’re about to have a heart attack (you won’t!), but push through it and see what’s on the other side. You could be meeting yourself for the first time and connect with another in the process.
Connection is what our heart longs for. Give yourself the gift of this today- YOU are SO worth it!
Thank you for letting me connect with you here. My heart thanks you.