Monday, September 29, 2014

Simple Things: The Power of Human Connection

The older I get, the more I realize that it truly is the simple things that make me happy. The laughter and cuddle of my little nephew. The precious giggle and smile of my niece. Drinking coffee in the kitchen with my Mom while shooting the breeze. Enjoying a glass of wine with a dear friend. A prayer between me and God while walking in the park. These simple pleasures are the building blocks of our lives. It is not extravagance. It is not hype. It is not even an ideal.

It is connection via relationships.

When I originally moved to New York City two years ago, I was enthralled with the idea of having this exciting urban experience in which I would be stylishly gallivanting about the city, eating at fabulous restaurants, and living out the most exciting times of my twenties in the most iconic city in the country. I did have those experiences (and many of them were fabulous, though real life is ALWAYS real life no matter where you are living), but the reason why they were fabulous is because I experienced them with friends and community that I truly loved. My favorite brunches or drinks were not the ones in which the food was most delicious or the venue was the most trendy, but rather the ones that I shared with those that I truly connected with on a deep level. 

Think back right now to one of your most cherished life memories. What is it? Did it involve a strong human connection? For me, the answer to that question will always be yes.

I truly believe that one of the simplest and best pleasures of life is living your normal, every day life with the people you love. For many people, this may not equate to family members by blood, but rather dear friends who soon turn into your family. Most of us know that one can be living in the most exciting city in the world, living out their dream job, or be partaking in incredible adventures, but if you are not surrounded by good people and sharing it with those you love, what is the point?

For me, human connection is vital in my life. But what exactly does the reality of human connection even mean? Is it the ability to understand another and in return be understood by them? Is it a loved one's ability to see you for who you truly are and love you for it? Is it our ability to feel reach out with empathy and a heart of compassion to those around us who need it?

Connection goes beyond simply loving another person; we can genuinely love others while never being able to deeply connect with them. Of course, there also are various degrees of connection. For instance, the level of connection that you experience with your best friend or sibling, etc. will likely be vastly different than that with your significant other, which in turn will be different from your connection to your parent or favorite mentor. I also see a strong difference between connecting for a purpose (whether that be to build a relationship) versus connecting heart-to-heart. By this I mean that we can spend quality time with others, which builds up and maintains the relationship/friendship, but this quality time does not guarantee that a true heart-to-heart connection will take place. It does not guarantee that we will truly be seen and understood by the other person, or that we will truly see and understand them. I think both levels of connection are good and can serve their purposes within the context of different relationships and friendships. For me, however, heart-to-heart connection is vital in at least one relationship in my life (if not more). Connection is my life line. It is my happiness currency.

This past weekend contained a wonderful dose of strong human connection on multiple levels, which made me incredibly happy. As we are swept into the always nostalgic fall season and all of the upcoming holidays that approach soon after, I am reminded once again that this September-December season is always my favorite time of year because it is often the most steeped in human connection via celebration and home and hearth. I am reminded of how much I truly value these connections and the life enriching experiences that ensue through them.

I am currently working toward finding a balance between pursuing and enjoying these connections, while also taking the time that is necessary to feed my intellect, grow spiritually, pursue other passions (though most often my deepest connections are also tied to these three areas of my life) and also enjoy time alone to recharge and rest. Combining all of these things together is what really feeds my soul.

For me, a simpler life that is steeped in rich connection is very much be a happier life. If I am well connected to those I love, I am happy. I am not out for status or money or an illusion of a fabulous life (whatever that even is); I am out to love others and connect as one human being to another. That is where life is beautiful.

How about you? What does human connection mean to you? What have been some of your most valuable human connections? Is connection high on your values list or low on the totem pole compared to other life interests? I'd love to hear from you and connect with you over this topic (pun intended) :-)


  1. A beautiful post. Something to contemplate this Tuesday morning. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words!

    1. Thank you, Laura! So glad you stopped by! Your blog is darling.


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