Connection Fuels Growth

In my last post I shared about my nephew experiencing disconnection and how upsetting that was to him.  Why was it such a big deal?  It's because we are all fundamentally connected to each other.  Some people see that in a connection to all the people in the world as brothers and sisters with God holding us all together.  Some people see it socially and how our actions effect each other.  Regardless of how you see it, it is our most basic reality. We have a special and quite real need for experiencing connection to each other.  It is actually what fuels our growth as human beings in all areas.  From the time we come into the world, our physical health is dependent on being held and receiving eye contact from our caregivers.  For a baby, that is not just a nice thing.  It is essential for healthy physical development and that extends to the baby's brain, as well, and so fuels our cognitive development.  That early experience helps us to learn, hopefully, that the world is a place where we can feel safe and peaceful.  That sets our emotional health off on good footing and from that we learn to see that relationships to others is crucial.  Our moral development blossoms through this because we don't want to offend those we feel connected to and, eventually, we can realize we are connected to everyone.  

As we grow, our connection need is filled in different ways.  As toddlers we need to be treated with patience and our efforts validated and affirmed.  As children the need is to begin to see ourselves as having growing capabilities and value among our peers.  In teen years, the forefront need is one of acceptance among peers, while still having the bedrock of belonging on a larger scale to our family.  As adults, things begin to change and we receive a sense of connection more by primarily being a giver of these same things - care, patience, validation, affirmation, etc.  It provides us with a sense of purposefulness when we make a contribution to the lives of others.  

Sadly and tragically, the connection experience is damaged by trauma.  So, over the next few weeks, I want to share with you more that I've learned about connection and the components that are necessary for it.  Through treating trauma, we can rebuild the bridge of connection to ourselves and those around us.