Growing up Sikh, we were taught about Karma, and the relationship that all people have between one another. All of these lovely people are in my life for a reason, and I am in theirs for a purpose as well. I feel a warmth of heart when I think of the many lives that I have come in contact with over the years.
I hear so often that connection is being lost between people, and yet, I feel more connected than ever to others. It completely depends on the use of these technologies whether they bring us closer or farther apart. I feel that we truly are getting closer though. I feel that on the whole, taboo subjects are shrinking, and that we as people are becoming more authentic, more real, more gritty.
Sometimes this is painfully true. True colors can come out in such an ugly way. I know in the last few weeks, I have noticed some horribly uncensored posts on social media. It’s not like this is something new, however I guess the act of writing and putting so many thoughts out in the open for anyone to read and critique makes it feel like a scary wild west when I read vicious comment threads or rants.
I don’t think of myself as one who needs to have a rosy lens put over the world, but I’ve been giving myself permission to stop looking at posts that are not uplifting in nature. I’m thinking specifically about a vaginal birth after cesarean “support” group that I joined on Facebook. I spent one day in that group and saw so many vicious tirades, ugly posts, with snark and menace. It was especially surprising coming from women who purported to be health care professionals.
I was quite happy to erase that from my newsfeed and go on my merry way. And yet, even though this feels like a negative way to think of connection, I am working on reminding myself that the tension that I feel is just a reminder of that strand that holds us all together. Sometimes I feel connection more acutely when it’s stretched tightly, and comes in the form of making my stomach go queazy as I remember being the woman whose homebirth turned into a cesarean.
So it was especially sweet and comforting to spend nourishing hours with loving women who have touched me in so many ways on Friday evening.
It was my birthday this weekend. My intrepid husband planned an epic surprise party for me for Friday evening…a girls dinner followed by dessert at a friend’s home. I had an inkling that something was going on. I’d seen a Facebook notification that mentioned something about a surprise something for Bibi’s birthday. However, when a neighbor and friend texted earlier in the day Friday to see if I wanted to go to a bookstore and coffee, I was a little suspicious, but Tommy played it off well. Saying that yes there would be a surprise, but that it would be awaiting me when I got home at 8.
So she picked me up at 6:30, and proceeded to drive toward the bookstore. On the way there, she mentioned that we needed to pick up some take-out for her family (at what happens to be one of my favorite restaurants). I was suspicious that the actual surprise was that we were picking up take-out for my family and that we were going to be taking it home to my house and Tommy would be there with the children gone. However, I was blindsided when we were walked across the restaurant to a big round table.
Women who have touched my life in many ways over the years surrounded me. Saying I’m grateful for these women is such an understatement…I wish a village like mine for every person on the planet. They are part of the filter through which I view all of humanity. I have a very diverse group of friends (and yes readers, I am including you in that group), and I’m absolutely amazed at how well we coexist and uplift one another. This of course is the other side to that connection. If it was all queasiness and hoping to climb back in our shells, I don’t think any of us would make it.
But, I have so much gratitude for the beauty, that it makes the difficult patches so worth it.
How do you shield yourself from the difficult side of being connected to the rest of the world? Do you struggle with putting yourself out there?