“The most basic and powerful way to connect with another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen
The value of our life, work, and relationships is the power of our connection to and with them. The question is, are we connected to them or just attached to them? The answer affects not only the value, but the energy they give to or take from us. If we are connected to them they enrich the time we give to them. If we are attached to them, they drain our energy and can leave us disappointed.
The source of our attachment is always found in the perceived needs of what is missing in our lives. We want to possess people, money, and things. We find meaning in titles, property, and roles. And finally, the trappings of success, which includes everything from public recognition to power – reinforce our need for more. Society convinces us that this is what life is about.
Connection is a different life experience grounded in a belief that we are already connected to people, work, and experiences and our life’s purpose is to enjoy, contribute and share with everyone else. Connection differs from attachment in that it is the connection that enriches us, not the illusion of possessing or having. We have the freedom to enjoy an interaction, the work on a project, or a new experience because it doesn’t have to be owned or given meaning to in some way – we simply enjoy the connection to it. Most importantly, because we’re already connected to it, nothing is missing or lacking, it just adds depth and richness to the work, relationship, or experience.
The irony of connection versus attachment is that in connecting more we attract more and everything is easier. And by now you know how I feel about making things easier. 🙂 We can have a relaxing and enjoyable lifestyle all by going from attachment to connection. So how can we make this shift?
To connect more and be less attached, consider taking these three conscious actions.
Reduce the meanings. Reduce the investment in what an experience, relationship, or decision means, especially to other people. It is often the seeking of approval and permission from others that attaches us to the meanings of what we do with our time and energy. When the meaning comes from the connection itself, we are free to enjoy what we are doing and to leave it without guilt or regret.
- Connect with Yourself. This doesn’t mean getting to know more about what you need to be, do, or have, but rather getting to know more about who you really are as a human being. Connect with your spirit and discover your gifts, life purpose, and what you have to contribute in a positive way to the world as a whole.
- Choose What Inspires You – Remove What Doesn’t. Inspiration isn’t motivation, it is what connects us to what we are doing and want to do. When we are connected to how we are doing something rather than the outcome of doing something, we are inspired by doing it and motivated to do it. Whatever we are doing that disconnects us from ourselves, ought to be eliminated, or at least reduced.
Shifting from attachment to connection not only changes us, it changes the quality of what we do. When we’re connected to interactions, work, or choices – we find peace, inspiration and passion in the connection.
There’s a difference between the two. Which aligns more closely with your desired life? And what, if anything, are you prompted to do?