An excerpt from The Anatomy of Loneliness
Connection can be thought of as perceiving a link or association between yourself and another thing. But in a state of oneness, you cannot be connected any more than you can be disconnected, because you are everything else and everything else is you. In other words, in a state of oneness, there is no need for connection.
Oneness is the ultimate truth of this Universe, and yet here we are in the physical dimension living our separate physical lives. Most of us cannot perceive oneness. Some of us catch a glimpse of it only now and then. And so, connection is the closest that we come to that delicious state of ecstasy where no lack or distance or separation exists. But when it comes to making a genuine connection with someone else, that link is consciously chosen and wanted by both people who are deciding to be linked together.
Our connection can exist at any level of our being. We can be mentally, emotionally, energetically or physically linked. When we disconnect, we break that link on whatever level we disconnect, if not on all levels. Genuine connection is a link to someone that is consciously chosen, not forced upon us, so we have to focus on choosing to create it as well as on keeping it. It’s all about creating that permanent and lasting connection.
Connection and intimacy
When most people hear the word intimacy, they think of sex. Obviously, if we think of intimacy only this way, it makes us feel threatened when we think of the notion of having intimacy with a friend, colleague, sibling or parent. But it’s important to understand that intimacy is not about sex. Of course, we know that sex may be a by-product of intimacy in certain circumstances, but it’s not intimacy in and of itself. Intimacy is about knowing yourself and being known by others for who you really are in all aspects of your life. Intimacy is the primary ingredient of connection.
Intimacy is what brings forth the truth about who you are, so you can be received as such, and meanwhile, the other person brings forth the truth of who they are and is received for that. Intimacy is a meeting at the heart center, where empathy and understanding occur. Intimacy is to see into each other so as to deeply connect with the other person, and intimacy includes seeing into, feeling into, listening into, perceiving and understanding each other. To have genuine intimacy with someone, we have to be willing to commit to becoming an expert on them.
We cannot deny that intimacy is scary for most of us. It’s scary because in this day and age, almost no one knows how to create and maintain a healthy, loving relationship. Because of this, when we have trusted people with ourselves before in our lives, too many of us have been hurt, betrayed, rejected, punished or ignored. We learn that there is no way to have other people and to have ourselves too.
However, when we make a genuine connection, we can have autonomy and maintain a healthy sense of self at the same time that we depend on someone and let ourselves really coalesce with another person’s heart, mind and body. In genuine connection, we don’t lose ourselves when we connect with someone and we can connect deeply enough that our sense of isolation is gone. If we suffer from feeling like we will lose ourselves by being connected to people, we will constantly push them away when we feel closeness. If we worry that we will be abandoned when we are connected to people, we will constantly cling to them and test the strength of the connection. As a result, our relationships become painful and we never have a healthy sense of connection.
When we enter into a relationship of any kind, we do so with all our own pain. We enter into relationships with other people who also experienced pain in their past relationships and, thus, bring that pain into this one, as well. We both do what we learned to do, which is to protect our inner worlds and keep them hidden to avoid further damage. This might seem on the outside to be all well and good except for one thing: this leaves the majority of us unseen, unfelt, unheard, misunderstood and miserably lonely.