You can read this email or you can listen to it by watching me read it aloud. As you like.
My friend John asked me recently…what did it feel like being in love?
I don’t quite know what to say, how I feel. What a question, right? So I start to explain that “I feel connected…..”
“Ew”, he says. “Connection is for a phone or charger or computer, not a human. I hate that word.”
And I immediately shame myself for not seeing it his way. Yes, of course my word is wrong, bad, not accurate. I’ll have to work hard to find another way to express this.
As if it’s important for him to know that he is right, and my answer wasn’t quite there, and yet with time & research & pondering, I can find the right answer, I’m sure of it. I shall search.
And I do! I turn my mind towards this question as if it’s something I need to remedy, to rectify. A self-flagellation of sorts that only I can make right.
Until I wake up a few days later & I go….wait WHY? What am I doing?
Just because he told me “ew, no, I don’t like it”, I abandon myself so ruthlessly, without consideration, and seek another way to communicate MY truth?
No ma’am. No more. Stop doing that.
I may not have the words in the moment to communicate to him, to anyone, why something feels right to me. Why “connect” is actually a really beautiful word for me. But that’s OK. If it feels right to me in that moment, it’s OK.
He doesn't need to like it. He doesn’t need to agree with it. He can think it’s gross.
I may want to question whether it’s the right word for me.
I may want to sit with my feelings, to remember what love feels like for me & my body, before speaking, before communicating that to another.
I may not know what love feels like to me or may not be able to put such a thing into words!
But what I may not do anymore is immediately abandon my own feelings, my own thoughts, my own words, my own beliefs, my own truth, for another’s.
It happens without me realizing it.
In an instant.
My will, gone.
Another’s in its place.
Because surely I must be wrong. I must be communicating poorly. I must be mistaken. I must not have studied enough, experienced enough, lived enough.
No ma’am. No more.
Connection IS a word I like. Because maybe unlike my friend, I’ve spent the better part of 38 years in a state of DISconnection. Walls up. So when I feel connected to someone, it actually is a big fucking deal. And it’s not a throwaway word to be used only on electronics and plugs.
To be connected to someone has taken me years of work. Opening up my heart to allow it to become connected, to remain connected…to nature, spirit, self, body, and yes, to others.
Connected is how I feel when my heart feels yours.
Connected is how I feel when I can hear the trees and flowers whispering to me through the wind.
Connected is how I feel when I look into my nephew’s eyes & I say nothing & I just listen as he tells me what's on his mind.
Connected is how I feel when I see the you that’s buried deep beneath what you show to the world.
Connected is how I feel when someone actually sees ME in that same way.
Connected is how I feel when I stop, close my eyes, breathe deep, and actually feel like I inhabit my own body.
Connected is how I feel when unconditional love steps into the room with us.
And maybe someday I’ll expand my concept of love even more and realize that another word suits better. But for now, connected is my word, not yours. And that’s ok. I’m sure your word is great too.
But giving up my word for yours — that conditioned act programmed into me since I was a little girl – has cost me too much. It’s the very thing that kept me so disconnected for so long.
I’m no longer willing to lose what’s true for me just because it isn't true for you.