Do you remember your first love?
Recently, I had such an opportunity when cleaning out my memory boxes. Covid-19 has been good for some things…like cleaning and organizing! The letters were from a boy I went to high school with—a boy two years younger than me, and a different religion—and thus a forbidden love. Back then we wrote letters—old-fashioned letters written with blue Bic pens on 3-ring notebook paper. We didn’t express our love openly—that was too dangerous. We wrote in “code” – sweet words and phrases that communicated our deeper meanings.
As I unfolded the old packet of letters, a smile expanded my heart into blissful nostalgia. One of his sentences brought me back to the present:
In order to fill a need, one must first feel it.
Profound words from a 16-year-old boy, huh Mamas? (I bet his Mama is pretty proud of the wonderful man she raised!)
I don’t know about you, but more than ever during Covid-19, I have needs. I need peace in the face of fear. I need encouragement that my loved ones are going to be okay and healthy. I need creative things to curb boredom of a non-existent social calendar. It’s hard to get those needs filled while experiencing loneliness and isolation from quarantine. Zoom just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.
We’re missing the connection and engagement that we used to have…and that’s one of the most difficult things about surviving a world pandemic. But I would posit that we don’t have to; we can still be connected. We just have to figure out how to do it differently.
Connection is different than communication. Communication uses words and phrases, and it’s cognitively based. Connection is the feeling when hearts communicate. It’s the deeper, warmer feeling we have during communication. This realization is so radical, and yet it’s so simple. It’s radical because we often miss the connection when we are swallowed in the overwhelm of our losses. Yet it’s so simple—because all we have to do is slow down, open our hearts, and connect.
To fill a need, one must first feel it.
Even over Zoom.
Mamas, do you feel the way I do? There is a way to connect. The next time you are communicating with someone—online or in person (and especially with your children)—slow down. Breathe a few deep breaths, and feel into the conversation. Feel into the other person. Let emotion rise to the surface, and openly reflect it to yourself and to the other. It will deepen your connection and it will fill the needs that loneliness, fear, and boredom have left you.
We can still experience deep connection…even during social distancing.
My heart-felt wish for you today is that you may experience God’s grace and peace, even in this moment, when you are reading these words. Slow down and open your heart. It has never been about the words for me…it’s always been about my connection with you. May these words be like those delightful old letters, opening your heart to remember the love the warmth and beauty around you. And may you be filled.
Who is someone that you can connect with today? Try heart-centered connection and see what happens!
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