Connection Is Why We Are Here

deeclarknz.comNeuro-biologically, we are hard-wired for connection. Connection is why we are here. Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The feeling of being connected is the ability to link or associate with something, to belong; like what holds the pedals of this flower together.deeclarknz.com

Ask your closest friends and family about connection and they will tell you their most excruciating stories of heartbreak and feeling excluded. That place where we see at a distance what we long to grab hold of and feeling like it is too far away or attainable.

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That place that screams from the deepest part of our heart and says, “I feel alone and it doesn’t feel right”. I have been there. I have been holding the hand of someone whom I desperately desired to connect with and feel the distance is too great a span for meaningful connection to occur. I have felt that no matter what I do, there is no kindness or gentleness or acceptance. It makes my heart weep and scream and whirl.

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In the midst of the screaming and feeling alone, we begin to gather shame. Shame is the fear of disconnection. It is the belief that there is something about me that if other people know or see, that thing will make me unworthy of connection and I will remain alone.

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Universally, we all feel shame unless we have no capacity for human empathy. It looks like: “I’m not _____ enough.”

  • I’m not smart enough.
  • I’m not thin enough.
  • I’m not rich enough.
  • I’m not beautiful enough.
  • I’m not successful enough.

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Shame unravels connection.

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In order to connect, we must find the courage to tell the story of who we are with our whole heart. We must be willing to be imperfect and fully who we are, letting go of who we think we should be to be considered worthy of connection. We need to be brave enough to see that we are different from those standing right next to us and that truth makes us beautiful and unique.

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We must fully embrace vulnerability. We must allow ourselves to be seen, really seen. On my walk to the beach this morning, I met this gentleman who was walking his pet lamb (isn’t it cool that he has a pet lamb and is taking it for a walk?). I stopped to say hello and make a connection. He told me, “She does not like the lead. She is a bit stubborn.” I rubbed her ears and said, “We girls can all be a bit stubborn at times, can’t we?” As I walked away, I was flushed with a sense of shame that I had just told a complete stranger that as a woman, I have a stubborn streak. Yet, after thinking about it, I felt brave as well. I looked at an imperfection and declared it openly with vulnerability.

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Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and joy and creativity and of belonging and love. When we find that vulnerability and tenderness are important, we will surrender and kind of walk into it. When we do, we find a willingness to take risks that bring us closer to each other; let our hair down, ask for help, initiate an embrace, love without guarantees and more.

According to Brene Brown, true, meaningful connections can be made if we will follow these 4 simple steps:

  • We allow ourselves to be deeply and vulnerably seen.
  • We love with our whole heart even if there are no guarantees.
  • We practice gratitude and lean into joy during moments of terror when we wonder, “Can I love you this much?”; “Can I believe in this as passionately?”; “Can I be this fiercely brave about this?”
  • We believe that “We Are Enough”. Because when we believe that we are enough, we stop screaming and we start listening. We are kinder and gentler to ourselves. And we are kinder and gentler to those around us.

To feel vulnerability means that I am alive. That you are alive. Being vulnerable opens the door to being connected which gives fulfilment to the purpose of our lives.

We live in a vulnerable world. What makes you feel vulnerable?

Embrace your vulnerability and get connected!

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One Word Photo Challenge: Copper

 I hope you enjoy my contribution for Jennifer’s One Word Challenge featuring the color copper.deeclarknz.com

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One Word Photo Challenge: Copper

   

One Word Photo Challenge: Beaver (Color)

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 “Yeah, it’s great to have dreams, but you have to work at them to make the real!”

Be prepared to:

  1. Be industrious, a problem solver, resourceful, and never, ever givie up on your dream. 
  2. Be focused, persistence, disciplined, and open to change. Work diligently.
  3. Be willing to play, enjoy, and have fun. Share quality time with family.
  4. Use the tools you have at hand to create what you need and want, beginning with what you have before you, your special gifts.
  5. Defend what you have worked so hard to build.  Trust but remain discerning.
  6. Take one small step at a time to bring the vision to fruition.
  7. Remain balanced. Set your priorities straight.
  8. Be dedicated, loyalt and commited.


One Word Photo Challenge: Beaver

WordPress Photo Challenge: Orange

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You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes. ~Solomon

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When was the last time you took a leap of faith?

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As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone. ~Paul

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Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, ~Solomon

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Like cold water to a thirsty soul,so is good news from a far country. ~Proverbs

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There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:~Solomon

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Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad. – Proverbs

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Sometimes losing your way is the only way to find your way. ~Unknown

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Mistakes Do Not Measure A Man

deeclarknz.comA man must be big enough to admit his mistakes,

deeclarknz.comSmart enough to profit from them,deeclarknz.comAnd strong enough to correct them.” ~John Maxwell

Mistakes.

I’ve made a few. 

There’s a gut wrenching moment when your attention is turned to the reality of a mistake. The “I wish I could crawl into a hole right now” feeling that seduces a desire to deny its existence. Denying, though tempting, is enslaving. Disappointing. Haunting.

Truth is where freedom from the mistake begins.

Freeing the embarrassment from lingering.

Freeing the opportunity to learn, grow, mature, correct.

The difficulty is believing my mistakes represent who I am.

But they don’t. 

They only represent what I did, at a given moment, with the knowledge, skill, and ability I had at the time. 

Knowledge can be increased.

Skill can be learned or gained.

Ability can be improved.

And I can use all those to do better.

Owning my mistakes, learning from them and correcting them…are the true measures of a man (or woman, in my case).