In connections, we exist! There is no meaning to life and our existence outside connections. Connection with self, others, and the universe. Connection with animate beings and inanimate objects. To my engineering friends and corporate colleagues, this may sound absurd, abstract, and futile. To some, it may even sound pussy! People who follow Constructivism, they might find it interesting. I have little desire to explain it or justify it. Follow through only if you are curious to get a glimpse of my experience.
What is this connection? Well, it is difficult or probably impossible to articulate fully. The connection is definitely beyond ‘Understanding’. Understanding is a cognitive exercise. Understanding has a limited place in connection. The connection is feeling one with the other. While understanding you are trying to judge/evaluate. All judgments and evaluations have a comparison. Comparison with past or imagination or current theory. When comparison starts, compassion stops. The connection is probably compassion. I can’t fully explain. It is at a bodily and visceral level.
When I am connected to someone there is a natural flow. I receive them. I embrace them. There is no desire to change anything. Acceptance. Complete acceptance is probably a connection.
The connection is knowing and staying in touch with what is alive. Alive within myself and others. Not going on head trips of what it should be! The connection is in moments. It is never in past nor in the future. It is here. Nowhere else.
On similar lines, what is the opposite of connection? Punishment and Understanding. Punishment arises from my limited understanding of reality. I want to keep control of society and thus I have a ‘Should’. When that ‘Should’ is not met, I engage in punishment — All of the — mental, verbal, and physical punishments. That is the opposite of connection.
No one is asking for sacrificing self. Protection is important for self-preservation. I can protect myself. I have that right. I can fight for myself. I am capable of that. However, I do all that from my need for self-preservation. As a last resort when my boundaries are violated. Even when I am fighting for myself here, I am wishing the best for the other. This is a connection.
Connection and compassion are not abstract ideals that only Buddha has experienced. I believe we all experience it in moments. The idea is to prolong those moments. Get established in those moments.
The connection is very subtle. It may not be possible always. It is not the quality of a being it is the quality of the moment that creates the connection. So to expect yourself and others to be in connection all the time is a recipe for disappointment.
NVC is all about connections and connecting! Thus I am drawn to it. I like it. How do I take it further home, in my relationships is the quest currently.
At the heart of connection is empathy. This is also the core of NVC. Both empathy for self and others. More on empathy in the following blog tomorrow.