It's the Holiday Season Again!

If anyone reading this needs reminders that Christmas is only a few weekends away or that turkeys are on perpetual ‘sale’ from now through Jan. 2, find a t.v. and turn it on. I’m writing instead about something that has been on my mind and in my heart these days. 

Much has changed since I wrote about gratitude last November. Gratitude I have, in abundance, but today I’m thinking about the friends, family, and clients who have supported me, cheered me on, and shared their own lives with me. Those human connections, some from close friends, some from almost strangers, made it possible for this human to go from barely functional to thriving.

I shared many of my personal difficulties in 2014 with friends and family. Someone always responded. Now I’m able to respond in kind, to connect with other humans. In the last few weeks, I’ve helped a friend with a family emergency and talked with another friend about a family situation. My organizing clients share personal stories with me. These connections, human to human, are essential. 

None of us lives in a vacuum. We humans are social beings, requiring connection with fellow humans in order to survive, much less thrive.

Think of how good it makes you feel when you connect with someone, however briefly. You smile at a parent over a toddler’s antics, you hold the door for another person struggling with packages, you talk to family, you spend an evening with friends, you attend a memorial service or a baby shower.

Think of the help you’ve received from a friend, from a stranger. Most of the time it’s simple and straightforward, as in a stranger opening a door for you. Other times the help is critical.

Lake County, about 50 miles north and east of me, was hit with massive fires in September. Firefighters from all over the state responded, as well as some from Australia and New Zealand. People from everywhere came to help in the aftermath. Donations of food, clothing, toys and games for kids, animal care, help with housing and transportation – all of it poured into the area. We all want to help, to stay connected with our fellow human beings.

When we say to family and friends, ‘Let’s stay in touch’ what we mean is, ‘Let’s stay connected. Our connection is important to me.’

Human connection makes it possible for us to love people even when we’re angry at them. It creates room for respectful disagreement, even conflict. Connection sometimes helps to resolve conflict, and sometimes to accept disagreement.

Well beyond our physical maturity, deep connection demands that we grow, that we accept new things in our lives and let go of some old ones. Connection supports us in gut-wrenching grief and encourages us to keep moving forward.

This human-to-human connection has limitless capacity. It is a way we observe and acknowledge the Divine in each other. It can be still, quiet, very intense. It can be loud and brash and sweet all at the same time. Connection sometimes demands that we do what we don’t think we can, and then enjoy the unexpected accomplishment!

The weeks ahead are a blur of holiday events, preparations, clean up, and on and on. That’s in addition to ‘regular’ life. Also ahead are many opportunities to strengthen existing connections and begin new ones.

In this darkest, coldest time of the year, connecting to one another creates deeper warmth and feeds the spirit. It is essential to our bodies and hearts. Connect with each other in celebration of getting through another year, wonderful, humdrum, dreadful as it may be. Connect in anticipation and hope of what the next year might bring.

Simply connect.

This post was created by the following NBOC member
  Ruth Hansell of Clutter Demolition