In the midst of this COVID season I have thought A LOT about the importance of connection. I have observed how our connections have shifted to new mediums like zoom, drive by celebrations, and being with each other masked and at a distance. And, I have had my share of lows and been a witness to other's lows. In all of this one of the consistent things that has lifted me out of these times has been connecting with others in a meaningful way.
Recently, I came to understand that there are different types of connection. Knowing this has served as a diagnostic that has helped me consider what type of connection I need more of in this season.
Take a moment to look these over and consider for yourself the different types of connection that are available to you:
Human Connection This can take on several forms, but at its core it “is an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another.”
This could be:
- Saying hi to a neighbor - Acknowledging someone on the street - Engaging in conversation with the grocery clerk at the store
Social Connection This goes a bit deeper. It is a "feeling that we belong to a group and that we generally feel close to them" — it’s those places where we give and receive support. The main benefit of healthy social connection is an increase in resiliency — the ability to bounce back after stressful situations.
This could happen within a:
- Living setting with others
- Participating in meaningful times with extended family and/or friends - Being a part of a book club, small group, spiritual community, or support group
Soul Connection Then there is soul connection. Another word for this in my book would be soul friendships. These are relationships where we experience trust, honesty, love, and the ability to be accompanied by another.
This could be within a:
- Spiritual friendship
- Small group
- Spiritual director or therapist relationship
Lastly, there is this connection we are often unaware of, but is readily available to us, and that is self connection. This is the process of staying current with our internal worlds i.e. our feelings, needs, and desires.
Practices that can help us keep connected to ourselves are:
- Creative Expression
As you look at this list, how is the quality of connection in your life in this season?
What type of connection is especially meaningful to you in this season?
What type of connection do you need/want more of ?
*Thoughts adapted from Sacred Companions written by David G. Benner, and The Power of Human Connection by Donna Pisacano Brown