In my last post I wrote about the four active elements of community:
The order is intentional. First you connect, then you begin to care, then you have real conversations, and finally you find the gift of cultivation. I am going to write a post about each active element.
Most of the time in most relationships/communities, we don’t need to pay attention or analyze the active elements. But there are times of celebration, confusion, and mourning that awareness and understanding of the active elements can truly enrich, clarify, and evolve your sense of the relationship.
CONNECTION – The Ground of Relationship
What is the connection that links you to another human being? It’s probably best to not make this a general question. Let’s make it specific. Make a list of five people you are connected to or should the linking word be with?. Do notice if you feel connected to or with another.
Here’s the list:
- Someone you chose to connect with – a friend or lover.
- Someone you are connected to by birth or marriage.
- Someone you are connected to by work.
- Someone you are connected to by beliefs or interests.
- Someone you were once connected with but the connection is inactive or severed.
What connects you to/with each? If you make note of the commonalities and how you are like each other you will get a partial picture. You will then need to look at your differences and how you complement each other. And then you will need to look at the mysteries of your connection.
I suggest you put aside shared history as they describe the relationship, and I want us to distinguish the qualities about yourself and about the other. No stories.
Commonalities provide the most obvious source of connection. But commonalities can get boring…no surprises or contrasts.
Welcome the differences that bring color and intensity to the connection. Opposites attract but the differences that connect us are often more subtle than opposites. Sometimes the differences are challenging and take courage to connect with. Differences that add the sweet or the spice, the glue or the traction to the connection. When you look at your five relationships, spend a lot of time noting the differences.
The mysteries of a connection most intrigue me. I have the most alive energy around the relationships that don’t make logical sense. It is as if the question mark shapes and surrounds the connection. Curious that a question mark turned on its side becomes a hook! Here is the opportunity to learn about power and rightness of alchemy, karma and destiny.
A CONNECTION REVIEW
A great nighttime exercise is the connection review. Bring into your heart thoughts one or two individuals you connected with during the day and don’t focus only on the big dramatic relationships. Balance your sense of relationship with the casual and apparently insignificant. You may not have connected with them in physical space, maybe only in soul space as they may live far away or even no longer be living. Think about your commonalities and your differences and then, ask a question about the mystery reasons behind the connection. You will most likely find your waking consciousness full of new perspectives on the relationship and on your need for the relationship.
Do you see how connection is the ground for the forming of a living community. We take connection for granted as it is the deepest and most unconscious active element of relationship.
I’ve also learned that genuine, open, unconditional interest creates the deepest connection and leads to the deepest caring, the liveliest conversations, and the most amazing cultivation. Interest allows us to connect with almost anyone.
Like most of those reading this, you live in my life as a name on my large mailing list. I don’t know what you look like. I don’t know the details of your life or the rich complexities of your personality. We connect only through my emails and the thoughts I offer and the thoughts you experience. But I care about you. I converse with you in the mysterious realms of soul and spirit. And we cultivate each other.
You might become a client one day or take a workshop, or our paths might cross and recognition might occur. Or you might leave a comment.
Thank you for our mysterious connection!
Next post, we will look at caring.