I recently streamed a FB LIVE about the importance of connection and how trust factors in when the connection has been broken or dormant for many years. I talked some about how essential these links are to my personal happiness.
I thought that my renewed endeavors to re-connect with two friends with whom I had long lost contact was more recently inspired. I was wrong. When I contemplated my need for connection after I had successfully reached both women, it dawned on me that I have intensively focused on keeping the thinnest, spider-webbing of outreach to so many people over an entire lifetime. And no doubt, social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin have played a significant role in finding some of my lost connections.
How do we connect after losing touch for so many years? Better yet, why?
My ‘why’ is quite personal. I suffer from the sometimes exhausting dual diseases of hyperawareness and empathy. Instigated by a massive life change at thirty-one years of age, I became brutally aware of the many people (call them heroes or angels or spiritual beings) who had been instrumental in keeping me out of trouble, kept me alive, guided me, chided me, inspired me, and loved me when I could not love myself. To me, it’s imperative to thank these people so my conscience will not pester me about my lack of gratitude. I must check my motives, first and then, I can reach out. For those in my extended family, it’s harder to keep in touch. I joke with one of my nephews about the need for a 6′ x 6′ whiteboard to continuously update my side’s family tree.
Is it trust or blind faith to reach out to a person to whom you have not spoken a word to in 30+ years? My advice is to check your why when reconnecting or keeping a tenuous connection in tact. Will it bring more positivity and energy, or drain you? Does it feel obligatory or celebratory? I encourage you to contemplate if you are revisiting connections (similar to when that ex pops up on your feed as a friend of a friend), if you really need to engage. Not all vessels are safe. Often it is best to let a decision about reconnecting sit for twenty-four hours as to not let impulsive emotions dictate the outcome.
Now what? Perhaps there is no further engagement once you have reconnected. Or, after a less than encouraging effort to stay in touch with family you decide it is best to curtail efforts to remain in contact. As the lyric from Rush states, “If you choose to not to decide, you still have made a choice.”
Cheers! *Raises coffee mug* ~ Kemetia