For me life is about connecting, with other people and other living things, in my work as an online counsellor, but also in how I choose to live my life it’s all about connecting and in some cases choosing not to connect, I try to connect with everyone I can, but I have learned that some people are not good to connect with, some people can destroy our inner peace, if we let them.
That’s not to say that we should only connect with people who enrich our lives or are ‘easy’ to like, we should try to reach out to people who are a challenge too, don’t you think? I have learned through experience that I can’t be there for everyone, sometimes the cost to self is just too much. The friend or family member who just drains us of our energy and compassion can be given a wide birth, not easy I know, but we can.
There are so many pressures on us to live an ideal, many would say it’s all about family, and yes to a degree it can be, but what about people with no family, is their life not meaningful too? Can’t our friends be our family? Can’t people we don’t know be our family? For most of us it’s mostly about the people in close proximity, or people we have already made a connection or bond with.
The concept of humanity is for the most part made up of small organisations helping people try to connect with like minded individuals and other living things, we have save the children, save the whales and save this, that and the other, all great causes and all evidence of humanity, I am not sure of the word for a love of all living things but there is a growing acceptance that we are all connected.
Of course having said that, how many of us really see others around the world as brothers and sisters or really feel that we are all connected, are we in fact all connected? We are living in quite challenging times, financial problems are a world phenomenon now, personal hardship equaled by countries being is very precarious positions, does the current world financial state make it more difficult to connect, especially with people we don’t know personally?
How many of us would cringe at being labelled a bigot, yet get drawn into casting negative thoughts, (even if unspoken) towards groups of fellow human beings because of the actions of an individual or small number of extremists, I know I can struggle with this sometimes too. Our perceptions can sometimes make connecting difficult.
When I look back at my life so far and reflect on the people I have so far connected with, they all have one thing in common, they were beautiful people for the most part, they all cared about other people intrinsically, they all would go out of their way to help even a stranger, this is what I feel connecting and life is about. Is it a challenge? Yes it is, but I feel it’s a challenge worth attempting.
When times are tough and whole nations are struggling it may well be harder to reach out and connect with others outside our immediate circle, but I think these are the times that it’e even more important to connect.
It’s also difficult having connected with another living being to have that connection taken away from us through death and loss, my unplanned and unstructured rambling here today came about because of the hurt and grief a dear friend and her family are going through right now, it made me think of how we connected many years ago and how we are still connected, this happens billions of times the world over, I know, but today I can’t be there with her and I hope the connection is still felt.
For Tracey and her family. “People die – love does not”
By Paul Parkin – online counselling and life coaching – May 3rd 2013