Healing and Restoring Connection
A while ago I read an article about the importance of connection, written by Brianna Wiest; “Connection Is a Core Human Need, But We Are Terrible at It – No person is an island, and we need healthy relationships to thrive for survival”, and I’ve felt drawn to comment on this subject since then…
There are many layers to the statement above, and the first one is the connection a new born baby needs for its survival. The baby wouldn’t survive long without someone caring for it, giving it food and keeping it warm.
Through connection a child learns how to communicate. First by imitating and later learning social skills by watching and interacting with others.
So early on we learn either in a positive way that connection is something good, OR we learn that connection can be very dangerous. All depending on what kind of environment we started up in. If support, love and trust were present in our childhood or if our caregivers out of different reasons weren’t able to give us that.
Either way, we develop skills to move through life. And some of these skills that were survival skills early on, sometimes makes connection and relationships difficult as adults. Some experience that they are not good enough, they might have difficulties in trusting other people and also deep down a fear of being abandoned.
I think I have a little bit of all that in me. Although I had a lot of support as a child, I was early separated from my mum (for a short period of time but in a sensitive age for a baby) It doesn’t have to be a BIG trauma in the sense of mistreatment or physical abuse, an absence of connection for a shorter or longer time can be enough for experiencing the above.
The good thing is that this doesn’t have to be a life sentence – there are ways to heal, to find connection back!
To authentically show up with who I am has changed my way to connect, to be in relationships. I have learnt that my idea about what some people were thinking of me, stood in the way for me to be authentic. I was too afraid of being judged if I weren’t “good enough”. When I dropped that idea and instead focused on the far more positive idea, that I’m NOT judged, I could see that there were actually both curiosity, understanding, love and connection showing up.
Brianna writes: “If healing is a return to wholeness, then healing from trauma is remembering that we can trust others, we can trust ourselves, and we can trust life. It is the reintegration into easiness, calmness, and the willingness to allow life to be as it is rather than trying to control how it’s perceived. It is not waiting for others to initiate or sustain that connection. It is our own willingness to try again, be vulnerable again, show up for others, reach out, and make ourselves an active part of our communities and families and friend groups.”
Recently I got to experience the healing power of a restored connection with a very important person in my life, I think by just showing up as me and she showing up as her, both in a vulnerable state, was the simple act that was needed.
And Brianna also states that “in the process of restoring a connection with others, we can realize that we actually create a connection with ourselves.”