#OneWord2022: Connecting, disconnecting, reconnecting

seashore

Even though my One Word this year is “Connect,” I know full well it’s not possible to be connected to everything all the time. We humans are too weak and frail for that; we need breaks, or else it’s as if we’ve stuck our finger into an electric socket and can’t get it out.

So finding a healthy rhythm of disconnecting, and subsequently reconnecting, is very important in all sorts of ways. It’s embedded in our physiology through our need for sleep. But how many of us get healthy, regular, restorative sleep? For me, certainly, that is an elusive goal, as I’ve suffered from insomnia for more than twenty years. I suspect that this problem is related to my difficulty in disconnecting and letting go in other areas of my life, while trusting that connections can be restored in good time. So that has become my focus this month.

flock of birds flying above the mountain during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve learned through painful experience the dangers of overwhelm and the need to sometimes pull back from inessential activities, in order to regroup and take time for integration. Much as I love blogging here, sometimes I have to take a break because too much busyness and extroverted activity are not good for me. So I took one of those breaks this month, and that was a good thing.

I did a lot of reflection and writing, finishing up a memoir I’ve been working on, reading it through and getting a sense of the big picture of my life. Disconnecting from outer things can be a chance to reconnect to oneself, in order to better be able to meet challenges from the outside again. Through my memories I see how it took me a long time to give myself permission to do that, and not to feel that the need for private space and time was a failure or evidence of some imbalance in me. Thankfully, I have learned something and now know that retreating can be okay, and doesn’t mean permanent exile or eternal disconnection, as long as we have the will and the courage to reach out again, while wisely protecting our own boundaries.

shallow focus of letter paper
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

This is true even though my most painful memories involve relationships that got cut off and could not be restored. I have to believe that this is not the end, that someday, there will be a chance for reconciliation. I do not know when or how, and I have to give up all desire to control and manage such situations, trusting in the wisdom of life to bring me what I need, when I am ready. The growth of that trust has been the greatest blessing of midlife for me.

My very greatest sorrow and regret, as I look back, is that when my son was born, I was in such a state of disconnection from my real self that I could not connect to him at first. I was overwhelmed by his needs, when my own were not being adequately met, and was thrown into a panic that I thought I had to cover up and deny and hide from everybody, even myself. You may call this “postpartum depression”; I call it “Hell.” It was the deepest point of distance from any kind of connection that I can imagine.

But it was also part of that life wisdom that was always reaching out to me, teaching me, leading me on the way back home. My son patiently waited for me to come back to myself and to reconnect to him. What was once my greatest sorrow is now my greatest joy, because this is one relationship that was not broken, but restored and healed. And it gives me hope that other relationships, in ways I cannot now conceive, may also become whole once more.

seashore
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

That hope is what keeps me alive, in a world where our hearts are so threatened by death and destruction on every side. The heart, I recently learned, cuts itself off from the life-giving stream of blood just at the moment when it contracts to send blood to the rest of the body. It disconnects, so that others may receive connection. But then in its turn, the heart receives blood and life again.

When you’re in the moment of disconnection, it can seem eternal, and that is terribly frightening. But I am trying to remember that it is only a beat in the ongoing rhythm, that the attitude to take in this moment is not panic, but trust. An out-breath of loving sacrifice prepares us for the intake of new life. And this is not a one-time event, but an ongoing practice, the heartbeat of eternity.

How has your heart been challenged, or comforted, this month?

One Word linkup at Lisa Notes

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16 thoughts on “#OneWord2022: Connecting, disconnecting, reconnecting

  1. I can relate to much of this, particularly your comments on how we have to give ourselves permission to let go. It’s hard to do this when we’re surrounded by so much pressure to do everything, to be perfect at everything. The perfect kitchen, garden, the perfect holiday, table decorations, Xmas decorations. Plus of course we have to look the part of perfection. It’s exhausting. Filtering out these messages is important for our sanity

    1. Yes, so much pressure, and for what? It’s hard sometimes to remember what is really important, but we have to keep trying.

  2. Oddly maybe the pandemic has had a positive effect – there are more and more people questioning the ‘always connected, get more stuff’ mentality and connecting or reconnecting with nature and themselves, and finding new ways to connect with others. But taking the time to reconnect with ourselves is so essential.

    1. Good point, I do think that is quite true. When our normal ways of doing things get shaken up, there is a chance to re-form them in a better way, but we have to take up that opportunity.

  3. I love your insight of feeling secure enough to voluntarily disconnect for a time because we can have faith that reconnection will happen. That’s a beautiful practice of self-care, Lory.

    1. I do try to make it a conscious practice now, after some episodes of life forcibly disconnecting me! (From a job, or a living situation, for example.) That was difficult but did teach me that the end of one thing doesn’t mean the end of everything, and helped to strengthen my faith in eventual reconciliation.

  4. Connecting, Disconnecting, Re-connecting…Thanks for this open-hearted post. It was very poignant for me. Now I have a new perspective on Brendan’s early times. Although we are now all physically disconnected, I am grateful for these electronic channels that help to reinforce the relationships. One day, I hope it will be possible to reconnect in person, and share more deeply what we have been learning over these years.

    1. Someday! Now I have an extra incentive to finally visit Toronto and go to the museum. 😀 In the meantime, I am grateful for electronic connections. Without them I would feel terribly isolated.

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