I used to feel that being from a small place was intrinsically linked to feeling like you didn't fit in.
You were different. You didn't quite connect in the basic ways that everyone wants to feel connected, the way we long for it like we humans do; the acceptance of all that we are.
Wandering around I quickly realized, this is not limited only to small areas scattered here and there. This was worldwide. Huge-hearted, open, feeling, empathetic people who felt disconnected and like they didn't fit in.
The ones that deep down needed the feeling of connecting more than others it seemed.
Again, I was wrong.
It's not just the empaths, but everyone.
The snarly cashier (who is overworked and underpaid), the stressed out single parent (trying to make ends meet), and so on. Everyone is looking for the connection that has been lost in the world.
In life coach training, we talked about how employers were looking to coaching more to engage employees into feeling connected, and valued in the workplace as it was becoming an epidemic. I wondered why the employers wouldn't make them feel valued? We found out that many of them were.
Then it hit me. Connection is an inside job.
If we're not connected to ourselves, we can't connect to those around us. Now, I do realize the people around us sometimes don't make the best fit for us to connect and resonate with and sometimes things change, but if we truly are connected to ourselves then we know they aren't a match to our experience.
This isn't to say there is some far-reaching thing we need to aspire to in order to connect with ourselves.
It's in there here and now. Being present enough to hear and honour the beating of your heart, the air in your lungs and the brilliant ideas in your head. To be able to plug into appreciating you, and how amazing you truly are. Connection isn't found in embracing something we aren't but in embracing all we are right now.
Sometimes it takes loving ourselves in bite-sized bits, building up to wrapping our arms around us and saying, I feel you. But the journey is so worth it. It's an open wide, deep dive into our self, our truth and our hearts.
And who wouldn't want to connect with that?
Photo: Tomasz Alen Kopera