Welcome to another edition of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. May’s theme is connection. You may have read my flash fiction, Fiona Meets the Universe, I wrote specifically for this event. Read below how connection saved my life.
I recommend listening to this Pure Healing mix while you read.
Connection can save lives, but what does it mean? There can be superficial connection, but true connection has the power to heal and save us. The first connection we should make is with ourselves, another is with higher power, and the third with other people through relationships. Connection happens on many levels through small moments.
We learn to love ourselves and believe in ourselves through small achievements, unseen battles fought and won (sometimes lost). If we work on developing a good relationship with ourselves, we learn to connect to our heart, to be less judgmental and critical of ourselves, to be forgiving, patient and kind to ourselves. It may take a long time to build a good relationship depending on how much love you were shown in childhood, how many blows to your self-esteem you had to endure, but it is possible.
Just a few years ago, I felt disconnected, alone, chaotic, depressed. I contemplated suicide daily. I’d been battling depression since age 15 caused by mental, physical, and sexual abuse experienced at the hands of adults whose job description was far from what they were doing. I have since forgiven and I do not want this post to be about the past. Since age 15 (probably younger), I felt unworthy, disconnected, and alone.
My quest to forgive those who had wronged me led me to discover darker aspects to myself. I uncovered a truth about humanity. We are all capable of being monsters, given the right circumstances. If I had given in to my depression, I too would have become one. I was slowly becoming a monster day by day.
I decided to look at myself fully, not just the aspects I liked and proudly let others see. It was difficult. I let myself be a monster some days (no one was harmed in the process). I needed to feel what it was like.
I have now fully integrated, become whole. I feel connected with the Earth, nature, and all of life. I see and feel we are all one.
Maybe you’re wondering how I accomplished this. How did I go from depths of despair to a fully integrated, happy human being?
The first step I took was getting professional help. I had over one year of therapy, which included 3 months of group therapy a day for 5 hours each day (that’s 300 hours of just group therapy). Therapy helped me be more aware, act with intention, and regulate emotions (I already knew how to name them). Most importantly, therapy taught me how to speak so I am heard, so my words are clear.
I began meditating and being mindful. This has been the most life-changing practice. Allowing oneself to experience one’s body, emotions, states, thoughts in such a way changes you. You learn to separate yourself from the ego (the mask) and connect to your higher power (also known as inner light, inner wisdom, higher self, inner shaman, God).
This connection to higher power is the second most important connection we can cultivate after our relationship with ourselves. Relationships with other people are also important, but when you are strongly connected to higher power, no storm no matter how powerful will be able to destroy you or even move you. Connection to higher power gives you roots so deep and stable, you can be like a thousand-year-old oak. You will be able to withstand much, remain calm and balanced.
Connection to myself and higher power has erased all illusion of disconnection. We are all one. We are all sparks of the divine. We are the expression of infinite beauty. I can see this in the birds and trees, the wind, sun and rain. Nature is important in cultivating a feeling of connection. When you spend time with the Earth, your only conclusion can be interconnectedness.
For me, depression did not win. In fact, I triumphed over it. I feel whole, connected, at peace, loved, and so worthy. Life has a new meaning for me. My tough childhood prepared me for experiencing and appreciating the greatest joys and love. I can now appreciate the hardships that I have gone through. Despite the pain and their appalling nature, my life experiences have led me to a place of love and inner peace, an understanding for life on this planet in all its beauty and cruelty. I am naively optimistic about life, because the darkest places no longer scare me. I have been there and survived.
If you are looking for reading materials on meditation and mindfulness practices to develop this connection, I recommend the Sounds True store. Their newsletter is worth signing up for as they regularly send free materials to read and listen. (I am not compensated for this recommendation.)
To read other Connection posts, click here.
How have you found connection? Share your stories and experiences.
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