“I define 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.” ― Brené Brown
As an awkward, insecure teenager, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend a Friday or Saturday night alone – driving around listening to music as a means to busy myself from the loneliness.
Inevitably, my car always managed to find its way to my grandparent’s house. The draperies covering a large picture window in their living room seemed to almost glow – no doubt caused by the television set, which was obviously on. This was a clear sign they were home before pulling into the driveway and ringing the doorbell.
The hour was irrelevant; the disruption to their television entertainment was insignificant. As soon as my grandmother opened the door and saw it was me, a look of absolute joy was expressed on her face, as though someone much more important were standing on her front porch. The connection I had to that house and the two people who made it a home is truly immeasurable.
And while I had just dropped by to say “hello”, several hours elapsed and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone anymore. We’d look through old photo albums, laugh and sometimes play card games – all while drinking a pot of black tea and snacking on some treats my grandmother always kept in the pantry.
Connections = meaning
Those moments in time, which regularly occurred, are still very much alive in my heart and my mind – though it’s been well over fifteen years since I last can remember such an occasion.
I’m not sure they realized it then, but they always knew how to make me feel seen, heard and valued.
The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to form sincere connections with people.
So often we’re far too self-serving with our time that it limits our ability to form relationships with others. If there’s nothing in it for us, we see no value in sharing our time in a spirit of kindness and respect for another human being’s existence.
But when you find your life void of people who once made you feel seen, heard and valued, you begin to understand how very important those connections are. Connections we far too frequently take for granted until they’re gone.
We cannot control everything that happens in this crazy, chaotic world of ours. But we can do a better job of connecting with people by providing their lives with meaning.
Lisa Cypers Kamen writes, “Happiness will never invite you to the party. Happiness simply comes down to a choice to show up each and every day on the world with passion, purpose, place and meaning.”