Connections are vital to human life. There are no two doubts about this anymore. Neuroscience, biology and psychology all align on this. Connection with others is something very intrinsic not just to our survival but also well-being and happiness. Community, society, tribes all are very important for humans. There is no escaping these even after becoming monk.
Mind well, I am not talking about relationships. Just like money is the fiction created by humans so are relationships. There is often an social element when people talk about relationships.
Marriage, Family, Clan, Biological bonds all form of relationships may have an element of social obligation or some form of dogma with it. What I am referring to as connection here is pure feelings for other human beings. This feeling is your biological reality. There is no belief or thought or rules or dogma associated with it. This feeling can be for anyone – within your family or outside. From your gender or another. From your race or different. Younger than you or older. With your beliefs or different beliefs. The feelings as well could be anything. It could be love, admiration, platonic, carnal or even hate and disgust. The feelings on both sides could be mutual or even different.
If your relationship is based only on these feelings, I term it as ‘Pure’. Pure human bond or connection. No matter the feeling. There are no rules or dogmas that govern that bond.
A lot of relationships over a period of time lose this. People start relating with others from rules and obligations. This is what creates tension and strain in relationships. A lot of therapy, communication skill development is to get in touch with our real feelings for others. Connecting with them from that level.
Why relating with others at the level of feelings so difficult? Why do we end up creating rules around family, marriage, friendships etc.? Well, because feelings are transient! They keep changing. It takes a lot of investment and energy to keep relating at the level of feelings. There is no guarantee that the other person will stay committed with me all the time. There is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty. Most people don’t like it. It is terrifying. So a relationship of rules is convenient.
Rules provide stability and structure. They provide predictability and comfort. Of course all these are important. However don’t forget that they are invented by us. They are not our biological reality! Feelings are our biological reality and I give them the highest respect. I follow them to shape my relationships. I pay the price of getting hurt and being terrified a lot of time. In return, I get the gift of authenticity and honesty.
Also, if we like it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we are aware of them or not but feelings are a reality. A constantly changing reality albeit still a reality. Thoughts, beliefs, rules, dogmas can be fiction but feelings are concrete and real. Another word for feelings is emotions which literally means Energy in Motion. It is the energy that is moving in our body. Feelings and emotions are grounded in our body and not just mind. How do we deal with our feelings is a different choice altogether but they do exist in our body and are real.
What do you value – Feelings or rules? If you want to learn more about your feelings. If you want to build connections basis them. You can book my slot here.
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What triggers feelings in us? I am writing about that next week. Stay tuned.
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Compassionate Communication as I practice it