When was the last time you felt IT ?
Maybe it happened some years ago, with the first sparks flying between young and impulsive lovers. Or perhaps you felt it as overpowering love between mother and son, or father and daughter. Or maybe you felt it, just yesterday, in the comforting conversation with a close friend. For many of us, this invisible connection we feel with our immediate friends and family comes naturally and easily.
When was the last time we felt that same connection with a perfect stranger?
Connected in Our Human-ness
Sometimes we may be unexpectedly jolted into this territory of feeling connected to one another–even as strangers.
I have found during my firefighting career that, for me, holding someone’s head in my hands is surprisingly profound and intimate. As first responders to traumatic accidents, firefighters often take cervical spine precautions for neck and back injuries. We hold our patient’s head in alignment with his spine, while the rest of the crew is strapping the patient to a backboard, so that he may be immobilized during transport, to an emergency room for further x-rays and care.
To this day, I feel a sense of surprise when I am holding someone’s head, in the middle of a chaotic emergency scene, and feel that invisible connection to them. I have held the heads of many people–men, women, children, and many of society’s ‘undesirables,’ including drunks, criminlas, and the like. It does not matter who these people are–if they are society’s heralded or discounted–I feel instantly connected to the person’s inner self shall we say. When I hold someone’s head, I am immediately reminded that we are all inextricably connected.
Many of us may feel connected to one another when we are in large groups, expressing our humanity in its many forms. Do we feel connected in the stadium watching our favorite baseball team together, or at a concert, rocking out to our favorite band? The first time I was in a room full of strangers, dancing my ecstatic dance, I felt overpowering love for people I did not know, except that we were all dancing our ecstatic moves together. I remember the first time I felt overwhelming love for my brothers and sisters in the firehouse. I did not know them all personally, but I felt the connection of our paths and purpose.
Fostering Our Connection
How can we foster this invisible connection to each other? We can begin by being conscious in our efforts to realize our connectedness. They easiest way, I have found, is by physical touch and by pausing in presence.
1. Reach Out and Touch Someone
Truth be told, I am trying to become a more comfortable hugger. In the meantime though, I can begin with small steps. When we make the effort to reach out and gently touch someone on the arm or shoulder, we remind our selves and each other of that invisible connection that binds us in our very human-ness.
According to a recent Forbes article, we feel closer to someone who has touched us. And that person also feels more connected. In addition, the person who has been touched perceives the environment to be friendlier. Let us reach out and touch someone.
2. Be Present with Someone
Today as we move through our errands, adventures, and chance meetings, when we come face to face with one another, let us pause. In this pause can we, for a quiet moment, look into the other’s eyes? What will we see? Perhaps canyons of deep understanding, oceans of unfathomable compassion, or starry galaxies of light? It is amazing what you might find, when you look into another’s eyes.
As we look into their eyes, let us practice listening, purely and unconditionally. As we witness their unfoldment before us, without thinking of our next response, we will feel the shiver of excitement in the alignment of our invisible connection.
We Are All in This Together
We are joined in our humanness, whether we know it or not. We are all in this together, despite our varied beliefs, disagreements, and battles. The connection is already there; we just need to practice and foster it a bit. If we open our eyes and really look around us, we will see that we are actually surrounded by allies in many forms.
We are all courageous souls for stepping into this time and space of the human game.
When we can practice activating our invisible connection with each other, whether by touch or simple presence, we will move through our days feeling safe, supported, inspired, and maybe even, as One.