CONNECTION- above all else.

These “experts” keep talking about the importance of connection. That social isolation will literally kill us. That deep connection with other people is as important as food and water. That addiction is not about the “drug of choice”, but rather a lack of human connection. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find- a bottle of alcohol, a carton of ice cream, the whirr of a roulette wheel, or the distraction of a brightly lit computer screen that let’s us stare at snapshots of other people’s lives.

If I could pull out just ONE common thread that permeates EVERY. SINGLE. CLIENT. I have ever worked with, it’s the NEED for human connection. And let me be clear, it’s not just going to brunch with your friends and talking about the latest TV show. What I am talking about is the real, raw, no bull-shit kind of connection where you are allowed to be human and in all your mess and goodness. When we have it, cultivate it, are open to it, are brave enough to authentically show up for it, we find the ground beneath us again. When we don’t have it, we struggle- with addiction, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, excessive use of technology, (insert anything else here), to fill in the gap.

Fear permeates my office often. “I’m not good enough”, “I’m crazy”, “I’m not where I thought I’d be in life, or where I should be”, “I’m not lovable”, “I’m different”, “I’m so scared I’ll be judged” “if people really knew me, they wouldn’t love me”.

I could go on forever.

Courage and trust permeate my office even more than fear. Every single day I see this. It’s why I do what I do. I see people face whatever it is they need to face. I see people lean into their pain. I see people share things with me that they’ve never shared with the world because they fear judgment. I see people bring their fears, insecurities and anxiety right into my office, because even though it’s the scariest thing they could imagine, they know deep down that they are worth it. And that’s courageous.

When we let fear run the show we shut down, we close off, we strive for perfection, and we only show the parts of ourselves and our lives we feel would be accepted. But the problem is, this doesn’t allow us connection. Because true connection requires vulnerability. It requires us to step up and step out of our comfort zone and show up in our truth (transparent, messy, and real) and to risk judgment from others. The risk is big, I will not lie. But the reward… the reward is BIGGER. And we must believe that too.

So what? What if we could all recognize our collective humanness? Recognize we all have fears, we all have parts of ourselves we want to hide. I see your pain. It is big, It is real. I also see your courage. It too is big. It too is real. As Brene Brown says, “When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending” And that takes courage!

If you are human, I invite you to join me as we work towards greater connection- with ourselves, with each other, with the world. 5 days. 5 ideas. 5 new challenges. If you feel awkward- great. If this excites you-great. If you are terrified- great. If you think this is dumb- great. There’s space for all. Do this for yourself, you are worth it.

2 thoughts on “CONNECTION- above all else.”

  1. Natalie Kersten says:

    Love this so much, Michele! SO inspiring…

    1. Michele Cooper says:

      Thanks Natalie!I’d love to hear more!! I personally think we ALL walk around in the world a little guarded,trying to make it seem like we’ve got it all figured out, yet we all crave more depth and more “realness” (not even a word I don’t think!) For me the biggest challenge in this is finding the courage myself to share something (real, raw, a little messy) with someone new, not quite knowing how they will respond or if it will be reciprocated. I know how to “fit in” well, yet there’s nothing meaningful in that for me. What about this post was inspiring? What is one of your challenges?

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