The Important Medicine of Connection

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I spend my days having real conversations—with clients, with colleagues, with friends, even with relative strangers. I can’t help myself but talk about things that matter to me.

I’ve been known to be in the corner unpacking someone’s sexual assault within 10 minutes of meeting them. Pretty regularly, I grab people by the shoulders, look them in the eyes, and tell them something I think they need to hear.

I like to have real conversations. With real people. About their lives, their pains, their struggles. And I like to talk about my own too. Because the shame is what keeps me isolated. And I know we’re all connected—we’re all going through something. So why feel alone with all of that shame?

Sherri often says, “There’s no shortage of human suffering.” It’s something I think about quite a bit. About the pain that people in my work and my life are suffering through. Everyone has their own story. Everyone has their own trauma.

In some ways, it breaks me heart to think about how much pain everyone is struggling with. But, in other ways, there’s something beautiful about it. Because, at the end of the day, no matter our income or background or life situation, we’re still all just human. All just trying to figure it out. And there’s something really beautiful in that.

Lately, I’ve been connecting with a lot of people—people from my past, old friends, new friends, even relative strangers. I’ve been introducing myself to people at cafes and asking new friends for coffee. I’ve been reconnecting with old friends and just listening to their stories.

I normally try to have time in my calendar every week to just talk to people—truth be told, it’s how my work grows and expands. My life experience is limited to—well, my experience. So it’s in learning the wisdom that others have lived that I can unpack more of my understanding of the work and the world.

And I’m always struck by how beautiful every story is. Even the most painful of stories. The heart-wrenching ones. The ones that stay with me long after we separated.

And the courage. There’s nothing quite as miraculous as witnessing the courage that people muster up every day. To be honest and vulnerable. To work through layers of shame. To decide to change their lives. To just be present with their pain.

I think I must be one of the luckiest people in the world to get to witness that daily. The fact that my work is based around watching people courageously step deeper into themselves is more than I would have ever dreamed of asking for in this life. And the fact that I get to witness that outside of work, too—it’s just breathtaking.

I’m not perfect. Sometimes I feel alone, too. I mean, in between these really powerful conversations, I am working from home alone (well, with Roscoe) all day, every weekday. And, for that reason, most of my week is build around really, really important meaningful connections.

Every single day of the week, I have an in-depth, connecting conversation with someone scheduled. An energy healer friend, a life strategist, my therapist, Sherri. Some conversation that reconnects me to myself, to that person, and to humanity.

I think because to a time because I gifted myself that kind of support. And I think about how much pain I was in then. I think that’s maybe the most painful thing of all—at least that I’ve experienced. To feel like I’m totally and completely alone. And no one understands. Or, worse, no one cares.

Today, my life is built around connection. Because I desperately need that support. In fact, Garrett and I play cards or go for a walk every night. Because it’s a lot more connecting than just watching TV. And I spend as much time as I can going for walks and meeting people in the streets or at cafes. And having powerful conversations with people from all over the world online every day. And catching up with my in-person friends regularly.

Without it, I would have just shriveled up long ago. I need community. I need support. I need connection. It’s the only thing that helps me share more of myself with the world and work through those layers of shame about who I am and what I want.

We all need connection. Even when we try to push it away. That’s when we need it most.

Who are you connecting with this week? Is there someone you’d like to connect with? Is there someone who you feel could use some connection? Are you willing to reach out to them?

It’s amazing how life-changing the simple medicine of connecting and listening is. It’s medicine that can alleviate so much human suffering.

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