Not everyone wants to see the pictures of your grandchildren and I get that. I promise not to post one of my newest ones (unless you ask!). What I do want to share is my deepest belief in the power and necessity of connection.
For a week now I have watched this newborn baby gaze into his mother’s eyes, turn toward his adoring father’s voice and even recognize his Grammie who has come to welcome him into the world. I agree with science that he looks at his mother so that he can survive. And, research also tells us that when that bond fails to happen, babies do not thrive. When they are not touched, they often die.
Connection to other human beings continues throughout our lives as necessary for survival. Oftentimes work and career is the avenue to meaningful connection. Sharing our stories of day to day life with colleagues provides us a sense of belonging. And when we reach retirement age, it is critical that we find other sources of joy and belonging.
While some people say they are happy living alone, most want to find a partner in life. The longing to belong, to connect is powerful. When we experience the loss of someone we love, physical pain centers in our brains light up revealing that we actually do feel the pain of a broken heart. Is it any wonder then that so many of us avoid that pain by believing we don’t need or want a relationship?
Whether or not you are in a love relationship, find ways to connect deeply with people. Volunteer in ways that create opportunities to exchange eye contact and physical touch. There is such a need in this world to give and receive love, to show someone that you understand and care. Find your way to someone else who needs you as much as you need them.