Are you a connection addict? A story about vulnerability, eye-rolling + learning discernment.

For a long time, I didn’t have many spiritually-minded friends.

So when I found out about a free workshop happening nearby, I signed up, figuring I might meet some cool consciousness-curious people.

But on the day of the workshop, I felt quiet and reflective – not in a socializing mood at all.

And when I walked into the meeting room, most people glanced up at me and quickly looked away. Not exactly a warm bunch.

So when the facilitator asked if anyone wanted to share their thoughts at the end of the workshop, you’d expect I would have sat there quietly and waited for someone else to pipe up, right?

Nope.

I shot my hand straight up in the air.

Why?

I was desperate for connection.

 
Even though my mood was quiet and inward…

And even though I’d received a fairly cold reception…

And even though my stomach contracted in that way it does when I don’t feel safe, I wanted to connect with others so badly that I ignored all that.

Despite all the signs to the contrary, I told myself that if I spoke up and got a little vulnerable with these folks, a connection would happen. Someone would feel me.

So I shared with the group about the profound aha-moment I’d had during the guided meditation.

And as I talked, I looked around, expecting to see resonance and compassion on at least a few faces. Connection.

But almost every face was blank. Uninspired. Non-resonant.

 
It did not appear that I was being ‘felt’.

In fact, one dude was rolling his eyes at me. I’m talking full on, pre-pubescent boy kinda eye-rolling.

Even when he saw me looking at him, he continued to smirk and cock his head to the side with an incredulous expression on his face.

And although his reaction was unkind and I was bummed that no one else was responding with the head nodding and soft smiles I’d hoped for, here’s the truth:

Sometimes, we want to share, be seen and heard so badly, that we don’t pause to consider the person(s) or the context that we’re sharing with.

 
Some of us don’t open up at all. Others of us, open the gates to our most intimate inner kingdom far too quickly.

Our deep craving for connection sometimes leads us to ignore the soft voice that says “This isn’t the time or the place or the person I really wanna get naked with.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.29.02 AMVulnerability (in its healthiest, most nourishing form) is inextricably linked with discernment.

Does this context and relationship feel inviting and warm?

Do I feel safe + ready to share this or does opening up here feel forced?

Do I trust you?

Opening to connection often feels risky – especially with people we haven’t known very long, or at all. But even in the midst of the risk, your intuition will whisper, “Open up anyway. Trust anyway.”

OR…

It will tell you that this moment or this person is not the one, at least not right now. In that case, open to that. Trust that.

That’s what I didn’t do at that workshop.

I didn’t trust the soft voice telling me this was a time for me to be quiet, that this was not the place or the people for me to bare myself to.

When you next raise your hand or open your mouth to share something intimate, take a breath and ask your own soft voice whether that time and space and person is right for you.

And whatever that voice says, trust it.

Love,
Annika