With the endless distractions thrown in our paths, we are oftentimes put in situations where we tell ourselves that we are “too busy.” Most of us assign that explanatory phrase to our relationships with others. So while we have a desire to get together with our old pals from a book club that was in its prime a half decade ago, coordinating a dozen schedules in order to make that happen is impossible. Maybe four or five can all agree on a good day and time, but the others have plans. This observation is not one of faultfinding, rather it is a reality of the competing goals of a deep wish to be connected to some while having obligations to others.
So where to start?
The first place to look is inward and ask if there is a desire to find integration. Presuming the answer is something along the lines of “Yeah, it would feel rewarding to be open and entwined with another person,” then the question is who to choose?
Most of us will likely look to someone with whom we’re already partnered, which makes sense because we are likely to be more motivated to invest time and energy into a relationship that “society” expects us to nurture.
It could be a relationship with a child, parent, close friend, or spouse. It doesn’t matter much who will be the beneficiary of your investment, but it seems that a casual acquaintance is not the most reasonable choice.
So now what? How to nurture the reintegration and enrichment with the person you pick?
I’ll share what I’m doing. Every day for the month of November, I am sitting down my chosen person for an hour to take a deep and, at times, an uncomfortable look at the relationship between us and at myself–as seen through the eyes of this other human soul. My goal for this experiment is to strip away needless detritus and cultural presumption–to boil the pairing down to its true essence–in order to decide how and why I should continue to invest portions of my human soul into the space between us.
It’s one thing to be told that someone who holds a particular title ought to be important; it’s an entirely different matter to feel the rightfulness of that importance authentically and without the exterior expectation of “society.”
I imagine that were we all to assess our child/parent/close friend/spouse after having come to an independent and thoughtful conclusion that the connection mattered that we would be living more deeply with each other.
And isn’t that what those of us who just want to feel connected are after?
And is there really any way to know without a true and honest study?
To keep repeating a pattern of fulfilling expectations without recognizing that we are caught in its loop is one of life’s greatest tragedies; to recognize it but feel helpless in breaking it is one of our greatest trials; to transcend the fear of uncertainty to find meaning and connection is a supreme triumph.