So obviously I didn't write much here while wandering this winter.
I left the last thought of contentment and connectedness laying out to dry in my last blog post....written just as I began my winter wandering.
I had a phenomenal winter in the sunshine (mostly) and after 6000 + miles, many new places, spaces,faces and many memories.
I believe that I did "find myself" while wandering.
What does that even mean?? Lol, to me it means I understand what I need as a human soul. I have gained a very clear grasp of who I am at a soul level. Without the affection or opinion of another.
This is BIG for me.
I am always doing for others and often get busy being helpful in order to avoid really sitting with my own internal needs. Always collecting my affirmations from others.
I now understand that the only way to hold that kind of awareness about oneself is stillness....not connecting with people ALL the time. Social media and a phone in hand makes this difficult.
That is my total ‘ahh ha! ‘ about me. That stillness was forced upon me during my solo travel.
Yep, I just said I LOVE to connect and NEED to disconnect frequently. What? What?
Here’s the deal…………...
I spent much of my time alone this winter. I have always like being alone so I was never bothered or saddened by this. I did miss being able to call my friends and ask to get together.
I missed those easy familiar connections. I was always attempting to connect with a text or phone call, and commenting on social posts……
We all have millions of little encounters every day. Family, work, shopping…. There are others everywhere! However, we are not really connecting with many of them, often inside our own homes we fail to connect.
Our human design is to be connected! Babies are born totally dependent on others to keep them alive! More importantly humans MUST connect to be emotionally well! We learn we are valuable by the quality of love and attentiveness we receive as an infant. This can be too much or too little….. and THAT result is the “human condition”! We all get a very unique experience in life. However, connection, attachment,being seen, being understood, being valued in just right measure is essential to life quality!
I was raised by a very strong woman who made everyone feel welcome in her home. She stayed busy tending to everyone and never really connected. You all know the hostess that doesn't sit and enjoy her guests. That was how Mom raised us too. We had everything we needed, and more! However, I never felt seen by my mom. I realize that is what I grieve now, my imagined opportunity to make a genuine connection with my mom as an adult.
My dad was a man who worked many hours to provide for his large family. He did all he knew to give us his best. He and I have struggled as I have tried to communicate. I am open and talk about feelings, not Dad! However, in February I was with him in Florida as part of my wandering…. and this sweet little thing happened... Dad stopped at the store to buy grapes for me to take on my road trip! He even washed them and put them in a container to pack! Now I know this is not a big deal, just grapes right? WRONG, this is my dad telling me I matter with a thoughtful gesture! He very rarely uses words to express his love.
This small act made it clear to me that one of the main things I have gained from ‘finding me’ is the way I react to other’s behavior. I now know it has so much to do with my EXPECTATION and not the other person’s capacity to connect. When I began to look for ways others are connecting or NOT. I really began to see!!!
This made me really evaluate what connections I do have. I realize that I only have, and need, handful of quality ‘real’ connections.
I have many friends! I have even more friendly acquaintances. I can speak to strangers in most settings with ease.
I only have a few hard wired intimate connectors! I treasure those! I understand how precious they are and do my best to tend to each one to help it stay alive!
I know this is one of my soul needs! Quality connections! But not just with people, also with nature! The water and the seagulls seem to always ‘ground me’!! I found myself sitting near the water this winter and would notice how absolutely content I was!! I could watch the sea birds and I didn’t feel the need to plan the next place, authentically in the moment when I was alone, this feeling is new and I like it!
As the old friendships and relationships fade off I now see that it came down to our degree of connectedness. As I said earlier, I see how much is my expectation of others and now, I am able to communicate my desires honestly to the select few who I really want to have that precious connection with. I know I do not want numerous deep connections. I don't even think that is necessary.
I see how afraid others are of intimacy. Afraid of the pain of disappointment they have learned from previous attempts to connect. Because being connected means exposing your heart, trusting someone with that part of you is not easy, but it is the only way to truly connect, and SO WORTH IT!
I realize that I used to be happy to be ‘needed’ inside my relationships (wife, mom, friend, lover), and expected others to see my value implicitly. Often that did not happen. I was left hurt, angry and disappointed. But my natural tendency is to make sure others are happy. I do not want to work against my natural self.
I will continue to help others feel valued, content and connected. I have that gift of being able to offer so much support to others without the expectation of reciprocity. This gift was from Mom, she showed me, people love to feel important!
As a young woman I did what she did...put everyone else first. After many hours of reflection and new understandings, I know I have to disconnect from all that noise too. I manage the “mental junk mail” successfully now!
I understand I am responsible for getting what I need from life and others. Speaking my truth and helping others know me, is my job. Making authentic connections is open for the asking. Remaining aware and attentive to others in the process is a skill!
Beautiful part is that gives me the ‘control’ (I always thought I was getting with my passive behaviors).
When I move closer to someone and express my desire for a connection. I allow the other to be just who they are without the emotional investment in the result!!! Pure Freedom!
I have been home for a month and have never felt so at peace! (Especially in the cold,shitty Lake Erie March)
THIS IS CONTENTMENT and CONNECTEDNESS!
For now I will keep speaking to the seagulls as we hold meetings on sandy, sunny beaches.
If you need me that’s where I will be! Let me get you a chair and a beverage!!!
About the Author; Cindy White https://www.positiveimpact50.com/ is a Personal Development Specialist eager to to help you live your highest quality life! Positive Impact is a site dedicated to helping you think about your thoughts and how they affect your life. Find inspiring photos and quotes on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/poistiveimpact50/