There are few things more painful than watching the folks you love actively, not love you back. Especially when they aren’t outwardly unkind or distant or they’ve spoken words that sound like love and have provided support that could be construed as love without an understanding of the kind of love you need and deserve.Unbound, Tarana Burke, pg. 193
My partner has always been so protective of me and has been continuously warning me about not letting people in beyond the barrier of my shell. And I never listen. This is mainly out of my fear that making efforts to shield my heart from this hurt will turn it into a cold, useless organ, more guarded than loving. And also out of my hope against all hope that “this time it is different.”
Connecting with people meaningfully and authentically is one of the most important things in my line of work as well as in my personal interactions. I am a deeply spiritual person, understanding spirituality as
recognising and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.
Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.Dr. Brene Brown
Authentic connection means bringing your whole self to the table (even the less pleasant parts), making mistakes, getting into conflictual situations at times, not liking what you hear or having to be very unpopular. This is why the second part of the statement above is essential – that our connection to one another, the true kind, is grounded in love and compassion. There is no authentic connection without the presumption of positive intent and a drawbridge lowered for continuous dialogue.
When connection is or becomes one sided, boundaries are the only way one does not drown. The definition of boundaries below was the one that best resonated with me. It doesn’t portray boundaries as walls, as barriers, it shows them to be guardians of our love for one another and ourselves. Now, this is something I can get behind.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash