the fourth day of Hanukkah: connection



the most important thing I learned during my year of connectioning?

the care and keeping of boundaries. 

(link to a post I wrote in September, not long into my healing journey. still blaming myself too much, but working on diplomacy. I don't write the rage here, or even most of the pain. I'm not one to blame or shame here, even when I'm still in the thick of feeling those things. still, I know it's there, because September was still really difficult.)
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here's the thing: we are, at the heart of us (stardust) completely interconnected. all of us. every molecule, every atom, star dust from the long ago Big Bang.

but, and this is the realest real thing in this reality that I know, we are also, right now, completely individuated, each of us (that can read this post) having a uniquely human experience in a unique human body.

(even the identical twins I know, completely individuated, with separate lives.)

we're connected at a deep level to everything, but in the realm of the here and now that we can participate in on an everyday level we are separated.

and that's important.

that's really important.

because it means we have choice. we have agency. we get to decide what it is we want to do with our one (precious) life and who we want to spend it with, now that we're grown ass adults.

we can choose what to connect to AND what to disconnect from.
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disconnect from the things you don't want (clutter, toxic assholes, saying yes to everything requested of you, getting dragged down by phone calls that leave you confused and sucked numb) so that you can connect more fully to the life you have have chosen.

don't get so caught up in someone else's pain that you mistake it for your own. disconnect.

(conversely, don't try to pass your pain to other people, that shit's not cool. cultivate connecting to your pain, really feeling it, so that it won't stay unconscious and get passed along that way.)

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what I learned this connectioning year is, it's time for me to reparent myself. connect to my pain so that I can heal.

especially when I start to get overwhelmed. I have had to learn to course-correct. learn radical self-connection.

I have had to learn to choose myself.

and this is the most important thing, I think, especially after trauma or grief.

put on your own oxygen mask. make sure you eat breakfast. get enough sleep. stay hydrated. feel the feelings, even when they are so hard you think the world will fall apart.

(compartmentalize if you need to stay safe, until you're in the right place.)

go hiking or jogging or play some games or read a book or watch a movie that fills you up. reparent your inner child, go to therapy, cry in the bath and write all the journals. do some yoga or somatic work or EMDR or whatever you need to do to connect to the beauty inside yourself. be solid in your own self. heal.

this is liberation(ing).

and then from there, from that place of solidness in yourself, start cultivating connection.

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cultivate the connection of empathy.
cultivate the connection of curiosity.
cultivate the connection of gratitude.

cultivate the connection of inspiration.

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go to that party. meet new people. text a friend. talk to your aunt on the phone, play tons of games with your family, or go hiking together. message someone out of the blue, just because.

connection is fundemental to being human, but there's as many ways to be connected as there are humans.

find your best way.
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I have no answers, just thoughts along the way, just like every other human being. I'm still healing from some significant things. but I am healing. three months ago, I was having panic attacks just thinking about going to therapy, or to an event. (I did it anyway and now those panic attacks have mostly subsided.)

I write the things I'll need to read, later.

this being alive thing is tough, but we're all somehow managing. one moment at a time.

life is beautiful and fragile and painful and joyous. all at once.

completely and utterly connected and yet somehow gloriously disconnected, all at once.

yes.