In January 2020 I attended a mostly silent 10-day retreat in Hawaii where we were encouraged to bring with us our “intention” for the retreat. The question asked of us was, “What do you to hope to learn and receive in our time together?
Learn to Receive Love
In 2020, my intention for our time together was to learn to “receive love.” I felt that while I was pretty good at giving love, I often deflected love (and compliments) offered by other people because down deep I was convinced that I didn’t deserve it. “If you only knew the real me there is no way you could love me,” was my recurring objection.
In the 2 years after that 10-day session and tons of work in prayer and contemplation I have come to conclusion that I am indeed worthy of love… as are we all. And yet so many of us don’t believe it. I think we can be harder on ourselves than others are.
I continue thinking on “The Connectivity Quotient” and why it continues to be so vital in the endless stream of human needs. You see, I believe we are created as relational beings and therefore we find connectivity both tantalizing and daunting. Within each of us lies a fundamental driving desire to be deeply known and to be deeply loved for it. Yet, also dwelling within can be found an almost paralyzing fear of both.
When we view ourselves as unlovable, we become fearful of letting another person into our vulnerable selves. So, we put on our mask or as Susan Howatch calls it, our Glittering Images. And we end up relationally alone. Such a terribly lonely place. This results in an inability to genuinely connect with another because we have nothing to give. Our cup of love is broken and leaking.
It Takes Self-Love to Seek Other-Love
However, with just a tiny bit of self-love and a desire to seek love from another, we can more easily actively embrace a desire to connect meaningfully with select others. Such connections truly make life worth living. Relational connection, just like electricity, is a conduit for the transference of energy. It’s when your energy and mine connect and the two of us discover a flash of recognition: we are on the same energetic wavelength.
I can think of few joys greater than soulful and energetic connection with another.
It’s about a hunger to share our most intimate selves, discover a correlation that supports both our unique and distinct ideas and feeling. For just a moment I am at one with another human being.
When Connection is Divine
And for just a moment I am more at one with myself than ever before.
Every mystical teaching is based on this one desire: Connection/Intimacy with the Divine. And connectivity with another person is merely a reflection of that divine need.
Begins with Receiving, Then Giving Love
Photo courtesy of fizkes at istockphoto