Relating and Connecting
By Natasha Sherman
I’d like to talk about relationship and relatedness generically.
I would assert that we all want to feel meaningfully related and connected; and yet, very often, what we do is exclude and disconnect. We cut off precisely what we long for. We build our identities wanting to feel special and visibly unique. What we fail to recognize is that we can stop trying. We are already unique. Over 7 BILLION people on the planet – no two of them exactly the same! It doesn’t get much more special or unique than that.
What we ought to focus on is nourishing and exploring and growing and appreciating our inherent uniqueness, without comparing, competing, or being threatened by what we see outside of ourselves. If you looked at a peony and were enthralled by its lushness and color and shape, you would never think of saying, “That peony is absolutely gorgeous but it would look better if the petals were the same shape as those of a rose.” That would occur as bizarre. And yet we do this to ourselves and others all the time.
We operate in the context of “us and them” rather than us and us and us; the peony and the rose and the forsythia and the lily.
We will certainly have preferences. When you go to a buffet, and you choose chicken, you are not choosing against the beef. Your choice has nothing to do with the beef. It is all about your preference. So it is with people. There will be people with whom you resonate more than with others. It is a preference. But it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the ones that you don’t choose. It’s the same when someone doesn’t choose you.
And underneath it all we are all connected, if only by the fact that we are all human. On a day to day basis you can intentionally practice being related and connected. There is some commonality that you can intentionally link to and relate to another person.
I recently talked with a client who has a strong dislike for her boss. His behavior and style do not sit well with her. There are many ways she can use this situation as a development tool – take responsibility and ownership of her feelings rather than lay it on him, find another job, make requests, look to see how her attitude contributes, etc. But for something simple, I suggested that at the next meeting she intentionally relax her body, smile slightly, and imagine a cord linking her heart to his. Something altered – both for her and in his behavior! Simple but powerful. But it took her being willing.
As you start to create the experience of relatedness and connectedness, your experience of yourself and other people can powerfully shift.
Life Success Coach
Divorce/Separation/Life Transitions Coach
“Live by Design/Not by Default™”