• David Unger PhD

Alphabet Series - C is for Connection



I have been thinking about C words. Caring, Consoling, and Considerate seem to fall into a group. So do Carefree, Casual, and Comfortable. When I started the Alphabet Series I figured it would be easy. Instead of sitting in front of my computer with unlimited possibilities, I would have some structure to help guide me. What I didn’t grasp is there is almost as much freedom to write about anything with words that start with C as there was before. So much for the easy way.


Today I want to write about connection. And by that I mean the meaningful connections people have with each other. Certainly we all can have meaningful connections with any number of people, places and things, but for now I want to write about our connection with those people with whom we are closest.


So, how about right now, off the top of your head. Who are the people you feel are in your closest circle? The people who you like best and feel get the truest version of who you are. The people you are most relaxed with and feel you can be your true self or at least close to it. Who are those people?


Some people have more than a handful of people, most have less. Sure, we all know people we like, but are they people with whom you open your heart, beliefs and stories? Have they seen you mad, glad, sad and scared? My guess is when you get down to it, there really are only so many people who really know you. Those people are the ones with whom you have the most intimate contact, caring, consoling and consideration. They probably have also seem you be carefree, casual, and comfortable. They might even stand by you if things got crazy. These are your people.


Most people have family or origin and family of choice. Often your best friends become your own family of choice as much if not more than your family of origin. Although some people have siblings or parents who they consider their best life-long friends. It is with those people with whom you feel the most connection that meaningful and life enhancing contact can happen at the deepest levels. Yes, you can make eye contact with a passing stranger and feel a connection that you may remember all your life. Yet, when you look into the eyes of one of the people you call friend or family and tell them you are so grateful to have them in your life it connects you in a more profound way. It is life affirming.


When we are young we often measure friends by number. The more you have, the more popular you are. Where I work students look closely at how many people they follow on social media versus how many that follow them. Their social worth is calculated on those percentages and the quantity involved. As we get older, we realize the value is not in how many "friends" or "followers" you have, but in the quality of your relationships.


It is easy to get swept up in our lives. While we have a knowing of the love we share with those closest to us, we can let time and space separate us. We can’t continually be in contact with anyone and if we were it would be suffocating. We need time with and time away. I once heard that technology allows people to be connected by allowing them to be apart. I think that is true. I know when my daughter texts me or I hear from a friend it is a welcome moment. We know it is going to be a brief encounter, usually just a quick hello. But, it says to me – thinking of you. And when someone I love thinks of me and reaches out and says – just thinking of you. It brings a smile to my face and a connection to my heart.

#AlphabetSeries #Connect #Family #Familyofchoice

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