Thursday, 28 November 2013

Human connections and the need for others

Sometimes I am happy :) 
Oftentimes, I have heard it said to 'be happy in yourself'. However, we humans are hardwired for connection with other people. So I wanted to look at how we can strike a balance between these two factors. Especially if our needs of connection have not been met at some point during our lives.

From my own experience (and we all have varied experiences), I did not have my social and friendship needs met in childhood. And I have not had my need for companionship and partnership met throughout my life. When I say need, I don't mean a survival-critical need. I have not become a miserable wreck because of it. But, these things are a 'need' in terms of staying balanced and fulfilled. And if our connection needs are not fulfilled, I feel that we do end up with a slight dis-connection from our true selves and the desires that are not fulfilled can become a form of neediness and even desperation that becomes unhealthy. We can end up feeling a void that we think something external will fulfil.



IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU

In order to stay well balanced and have a healthy desire for connection with other people, the place to start is ourselves. But sometimes, it can be hard to find that happiness within ourselves when we don't have much connection with others. It kind of becomes a Catch 22, because when we are missing healthy relationships, we can subconsciously push them away or prevent them from coming into our lives. The hole and the void can become more and more gaping, and when we are focused on the lack of friendships or the lack of a partner, this just perpetuates lack, lack and more lack.

A flower is a good example of being alive and present.
So how can we go at least some way to solving this problem? Well, for me, one of the keys is to be as present as possible. Yes, the lack or the loss of connection and relationships can be really painful, and I'm not saying you should ignore your pain and emotions. There can be a lot of stored pain in the heart, and sometimes you need to allow this pain to be your friend and express itself. But even in those times, you can allow yourself to be present with the pain and feelings you are experiencing. Sometimes we can get triggered by something. But when you know you have been triggered, you can express how you are feeling without it making you feel like a worthless human being. And if you end up spending more time on your own than you would like, you can allow yourself to feel the aliveness of being yourself.

But being present means that we do not identify with our story quite so much. We all have a story to tell, and I absolutely 100% + believe that we can use our story in a positive way to help ourselves and others. But when our mind is so attached to our stories, it can become difficult to escape from pain, and we end up going round in the same drama patterns.

For me, a good starting point to help increase my own self-esteem and self-worth is to believe that I was created as a loving, divine human being. Since I was born, my life story has all happened. But the true essence of my being is still there, albeit with a few scars. That does not mean my self-worth catapults overnight. But it helps put things in a better perspective.

LOVE VS NEED

I don't know about you, but I can find it a little nauseating listening to the lyrics of certain pop songs. I have to admit to liking The Carpenters, but some of their 'love' songs .. the music may be good, but the lyrics .. oh dear me. The music world has certainly helped encourage the belief that you need that special someone to 'complete' you. But a lot of relationships are dysfunctional and based on need and attachment. In simple terms, we have lost the true meaning of love and let fear take over and create dysfunction.

I never learnt to form close friendships during childhood. The vast majority of people find it easier to form friendships than me, although maybe that's not a good thing for me to say and I should change my beliefs regarding that. In some ways, being alone at school was probably a blessing because it has made it a bit easier to tolerate my own company.

But so many people hate being alone and they need friends or a partner to be comfortable. What I'm trying to get at is that there is a healthy desire for other people, but when we lose our true selves and our self-esteem plummets, these healthy desires become needs that are really needs that need to be fulfilled within ourselves but we usually think they will be fulfilled by others. Whilst sometimes, it is important to get help when not in the best of states - other people can be a fantastic support when we are going through rocky times - we cannot rely on others forever.

This thing called 'love' - do we truly love others? Or is most of our love really based on need? So often, when people talk about love, it is within the context of romantic love. But love is so much more than that. And the phrase 'it all begins with yourself' definitely applies when it comes to love. You may have heard it said that 'you cannot love others until you love yourself' - and I think you could argue for or against this belief, but certainly, I think to love without attachments or conditions, is only truly possible if you do love yourself. Other people can certainly show you or be a good example of what love is. But love for yourself happens by opening your heart. Which is a process. And can be painful.

This will lead on my next post called 'Opening Your Heart' .. which I hope to do sometime soon.

Blessings

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