A theme has come up in conversations with my friends and clients lately. It got me thinking, and I want to share some of my thoughts with you and see what you think. The theme is this emergent need for connection, the longing for meaningful, soulful companionship in our lives. Why are we feeling this need more acutely now? One thought is that the Covid-19 pandemic separated us abruptly. It took away our loved ones, and our support systems, transforming us into so many isolated islands. It made us all slow down long enough to think and explore our feelings instead of rushing through our lives and our to-do lists. We had to face mortality, anxiety, fear, death, and loss.
Conversations on Connection—
One woman is hoping to find a life companion, in whatever form it manifests– as a partner, boyfriend, or husband. She wants someone to share her life with after being a single mom for so many years. She doesn’t want to be alone anymore. She has also recently experienced what feels like a betrayal in a friendship. She is hurt, and she is mourning the loss of what she thought was an unbreakable sister-like bond.
Another woman has decided that she has to let her hopes and expectations go and accept that her life partner has changed. Her life is not ideal; who’s is? People change, and she is ready to try to live the principle that no one can make you happy but yourself, and... that we are never responsible for someone else’s happiness.
Yet another woman longs for a partner or a relationship with someone who actually wants to hear what she thinks is interested in her ideas and has similar interests and passions. She and her husband have grown into very different people over the past 30 years, or as she put it, “After raising a family, we both want to get our needs met—which are very different—but we have so little in common now, other than our children. We are completely different in the way we think, in what we value and believe to be important.”
After living through the crazy-busy householder years of career, job, family, children, building a home, possibly caring for aging parents, and more, we arrive at Regency, somewhere around 45-55. And when the fog begins to clear from tending to everyone and everything else, our needs and desires start to rise back to the top of our consciousness, like cream to the top of fresh milk. This reemergent self will not be ignored.
All of these women, and a few more that I didn’t mention, are feeling a deep need for intimate connection—now. I don’t necessarily mean sexual intimacy, though there could be that too. I’m talking about soul intimacy. Someone to who you can tell your most hopeful as well as deepest darkest thoughts. Someone who you can talk with about the big questions of meaning, purpose, and personal value. Someone who wants to hear you, someone to connect with on all levels, to cry with and celebrate with, to be bored and creative with. The kind of relations ship that needs no conversations but can go as deep as the ocean at a moment’s notice.
What does it mean to feel this loneliness? To feel that we don’t have the ultimate connections that our souls cry for? For many of us, it is devastating to feel disconnected. Disconnected from what? What have we lost? What are we searching for?
When we are born, we emerge from one of the most intimate connections, the womb. We are also connected through the great vine of feminine being that connects us with all the mothers who have had daughters throughout time. That is an unbreakable entwined living vine that has grown since the beginning. We were one with our mothers; we grew and developed in unity with her and the great vine. Yet, at the moment of birth, we became a separate person.
Some would say that our soul, spirit, or essence came from an even greater unity before it incarnated. This can be understood as the original unity, a god or goddess, or universal consciousness, or cosmic energy; call it whatever fits for you. If we all are a part of that original unity or spiritual dimension, it may be that separation that we are feeling. Perhaps, the longer we are separated, the stronger the longing becomes. It may be a longing for that indescribable original belonging, the exquisite state of knowing and being fully known.
Different theories suggest that when we incarnate into a body, as either a man or a woman, that part of the soul or spirit remains behind in the spiritual realm, and that is what we long for, the rest of our-self. Or that the spirit is split into male and female at incarnation, and our search for a partner is the longing to be whole. What remains is the search for belonging.
We are surrounded daily by a system that should remind us of our origins in unity. All life on our planet is connected. It’s stupefyingly perfect and beautiful in its interdependent ecosystems. Nothing exists that did not first arise out of something else. This is dependent origination, what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing.” Many great spiritual teachers have given us messages of unity, telling us that separation is an illusion and we are all one.
Why don’t we feel it? Why do we feel lonely and alone on our journeys? Why is it so hard to reach back through to the knowing and feeling that we are all one? We are fundamentally, inescapably connected. Everything we do affects the whole. If we could embody this, feel this, live this—we would never feel unseen, unknown, alone, or lonely.
Are you feeling a growing need or longing for connection in your Regency years? Where do you go to find it? As you travel through the Seven Realms of Change during perimenopause, midlife, and menopause when your body, mind, and soul are transforming, are you forming new connections? Are you discovering new, more profound ways of knowing?
Drop a comment or two below, or shoot me an email, and let me know how you’re doing. Let’s have a meaningful conversation, and let’s see and be seen.