Safely Connected / by Michelle Cowan

Human beings are all connected as one. We all came from the same stuff, and we will all return to it. Yet we exist in separate bodies; to some extent, we are independent creatures.

But it fascinates me how useless many of us feel when the things we do are not visible to other people. I have a need inside of me to show other people the things I create, the acts I perform, and even the thoughts in my head. I want to share and be understood, even though both of those things are sometimes impossible.

Perhaps we are all aware of each other’s secret acts to some degree, but not consciously. And so we feel disconnected. For me, when I feel set too far apart, I start trying to connect by calling people and sharing feelings, by getting out and being around people, or by doing or making something for someone else. I try to put myself in the same space as others or in a place that will be connected to them at some point so that I feel less alone.

What happens when life limits my abilities? What happens when I start relying on fewer and fewer social outlets? Suddenly, I’m highly dependent on one or two people for support of many kinds. This feels dangerous to me. I don’t trust anyone enough to limit the extent of my trust to a single person.

The desire for a broad social net seems healthy to me. It must be best to maintain a chorus of different voices in my life, rather than one lone tone. I don’t need the same perspective every time I need to share something. I need a variety of opinions and ways of being to keep me better-rounded. There is no one right way to be. There are many, and I need regular exposure to them.

But what if I’m tired? What if I can’t seem to reach out to anyone except a couple of people? I feel scared in those times. I wonder if others are forgetting about me or if I’m wise to trust the few people I have let in. I wonder when I will feel energetic enough to get out there and broaden the circle again. I worry about it.

To battle this, I must return again and again to the notion of living in the present. I only know this moment, now. And perhaps, now, I feel tired and need rest. Now, I have certain people in my life, and now, I will love them as best I can. I will love others as they venture in and out of my spectrum. I am safe with one hundred friends, with five, and with none. I am safe. Whether I know it or not, I’m connected to everyone and can tap into that power whenever I want to.

The main thing is to live in faith, not fear, and to love those I can. That’s it. If my life constructs a certain group of people around me, I can accept it and move within that, even changing it if necessary. But I do it slowly, moment by moment, as I am able.

Never think your social circle is less or more than it should be. Just concentrate on the individual relationships and how you would like them to grow or fade right now. Everything else is overwhelming and results from worry about the future or about what other people think. If we nurture what we have and what we are interested in, things will fall into place, and we will feel loved. I believe that and wish it for all of you.