There is an old song by Joan Baez that begins with the words; ‘No man is an island, no man stands alone, each man’s joy is joy to me, each man’s grief is my own.’ Experiments have been conducted with human babies and even on animals and they’ve proven that left alone they fail to thrive and can eventually lead to death. We were born to connect. We were born to have families and friends. We were born to interact with other people. We are all social beings who cannot survive alone.

One of the worst things one person can say to another person is, ‘I don’t need you!’ We all need each other. We all need some type of connection to survive, to live and to be physically and emotionally healthy. Even in the spiritual realm we need support and have people around us who believe like we do.

Why is it then we have so many lonely people around? Loneliness is a lack of connection. The fact that some may know a lot of people and have a lot of friends does not mean that they are really connecting with anyone. I know a lot of single people who are lonely. I also know a lot of married people who are also lonely.

Connecting is deeper than having people around. I’ve met a lot of people who are constantly surrounded yet who are constantly lonely. There’s something called soul connection and it’s rare. We all have to wear our masks to survive the onslaught of judgments we find in this world. Yet these same masks block our connectedness and we find ourselves living an existential loneliness that we can’t even explain to ourselves. So how do we connect then? Let’s explore this concept this week and next week.

Connecting must begin with openness. A lot of us don’t know what openness is, so we are closed and cannot receive. We will explore that concept in three weeks. For now, it is important to realize we each need at least one person we can totally be ourselves with. You must have someone you can open your soul to without fear of retribution or judgment. You must feel secure that your private information will not be used against you later. Sometimes that happens in intimate relationships like marriage. This connectedness and its rules must be agreed upon at the outset.

Connecting is not easy. It takes effort, volition and commitment. To connect you must let go of some fears and you must learn to trust. You cannot connect with just anyone. You must learn to listen to the voice inside your head that is always attempting to guide you. You must connect with someone you feel safe with. The right connection is like a breath of fresh air on a crisp morning. It reenergizes you to go on and take another step when life gets hard. Connecting is healthy, it is necessary. Who are you really connected with? Yes, God is a good connection, but I’m talking flesh and blood.

I invite you to take a moment and find a quiet place, take the time to listen to your heart and think about this and make a list of people you want to connect with. Pray and ask for direction than make some connections. It may be just one connection to begin with. You are not an island; you don’t have to do all of this alone. You were created for connection, reach out and connect.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Eccl 4:9-11

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