It was not until recently that I realized the reason why people always need an ice breaker, alcohol, or smoke to connect with each other. Since I completely decided to not touch alcohol connecting with people was quite hard for me. I chose to spend time on my own with my dog or only interact with friends I knew since childhood or just for work.
It hadn’t occurred to me why until the past few months when something changed.
I recently also started noticing when we ask people or friends ‘’How are you ‘’and their answer is ‘’work is well the kids are ok ‘’ the question however, ‘’how you are ‘’ remains unanswered The effort we do to hide the true self is huge and tiring. Why? Because we are not really ourselves. We are always trying to be perfect making sure we do not reveal the most intimate part of ourselves in the fear of being judged or making sure that they don’t see us cry and sad and even more see how much we crave and need connection. Because deep inside of us, until we let go of this need, we will all be lonely.
For me it was a work in progress, I was working on myself for years. I was always trying to be aware of my triggers and understanding who I am and trying to work on my desires. But this was the problem, I was working but I was unable to let go. When I was out, I craved to connect but I could not. I tried to be in groups, but it was so hard for me.
A recent experience made me realize two things:
- Once your heart is open, you can connect beautifully with whoever is ready to connect with you and teach the ones who aren’t ready.
- With the right people you will get a healthy connection almost immediately.
How do we open our heart? This is such a tricky question. How do we crack open our heart, destroy the wall between us and the world and be our self, our true self. This was one of the questions I could not answer, and I was so upset not only for me but also for my clients. They were coming to me with the wish to heal and connect and I was only able to give them the theory behind it.
Then without realizing it my heart cracked It opened wide and I am not willing or able to close it ever since.
How? For me it was a very personal experience. The death of my beautiful angel dog, Moly. I spend 3 months in Athens taking care of her, going together for chemo, enjoying walks in the park, rides in the cars and just being. Her and Me. Everyday my heart was opening bit by bit. Being in this absolute mood of doing nothing but being with your best friend and taking care of an animal that adores you. There is nothing better in this life than this. Taking care of a loved one is always a rewarding action, but an animal is different. The animal knows they will die and they are ok with it, they don’t care where you take them as long as you are together. They look at you with adoration and kindness telling you their own goodbyes and making sure that you know that they will be ok. Throughout our life together moly kept giving me gifts. When she was sick, she gave me the gift of meeting a wonderful vet who was her doctor and soon became a very close friend of mine, she opened my heart and she gave me maybe the three most beautiful months of my life. The months I took care of her and she took care of me.
I now know that Moly knew exactly when she will pass the rainbow. She holds up until she knew that my heart was open enough to let her go. I thought I was not ready, I thought it was a pain I could never get over, but now I know. This pain is now transferred to this beautiful feeling of love and contentment. Three days before Moly died, she gave me another beautiful gift. She held herself for a beautiful photoshoot, she smiled and shined and posed next to me so we can capture those beautiful memories together. And we did, she lives in my heart and in the pictures, I took of her.
When the day came, I knew and she knew. I was in denial but she was ready. She is waiting the whole day; she could not get up to go to the bathroom or drink water or eat. But I was not seeing it, my heart knew though.
And then at around 6 pm after I finished lunch a laid on the floor next to her and she looked at me with her beautiful eye said goodbye and left. And this was when it happened, she gave me the gift of opening my heart. There was nothing to keep me from crying out loud calling people to come help me, helplessly on the floor. But I didn’t care, it was the first time that I did not care what people thought, I didn’t care if they saw me as weak or that I exaggerated crying on the floor while hugging my best friend. I opened my heart because and thanks to her. I was grieving so deeply that there was nothing that could stop me from showing this to the world.
I lost my best friend and I was alone there was no one that knew better than her or loved me more than her and, in this moment, my whole world was falling apart. I did not know what to do.
I cried in front of everyone I shouted I screamed I was hurting so deeply that I could not control it.
I stayed with her crying all night and prepared her to take her to her garden in the island to bury her in her favorite garden. I cried all the way to Syros on the boat not paying attention to anyone I just didn’t care.
When I arrived there it was even harder for me, because for me she was the island. I buried her and continued crying, I planted flowers and a bench next to her and I continued crying. It was so hard for me but in the moment, I had no idea of the gift she was giving me. Days passed and I couldn’t stop crying it was impossible for me, every little piece of sadness that was inside of me, came out that week. 3rd day I even ended up in the hospital because I could not breath, the idea of her not being there and the thought that maybe I could have done something more was suffocating me. After 10 days of being with her in the island and saying my goodbyes, I left. I still had not seen her gift.
As days was passing, I was feeling something change inside of me, I was becoming softer, kinder, sweeter, vulnerable, and more open to connect.
I was craving to connect, with some people it happened, we started connecting more than we ever did before, and we some people it couldn’t, because they are not ready. Their hearts are still closed.
A few weeks later I decided to take a trip to the Hague, I place I like to visit for those beautiful Osho retreats. I loved this city from the moment I arrived., but last time I visited I was not open, I was afraid I was not going to fit in or make any friends or even get anyone to talk to me. The retreat was very intense and usually there is a lot of sharing from everyone, but from my side I didn’t do it until the last day. I heard everyone stories everyone pains everyone desires, but this time all I could hear was everyone need to be loved, love and connect and to be accepted and vulnerable. Everyone was saying their stories, but everyone needed a shoulder to cry and a hug. A big accepting hug.
The last day came and I shared, I really opened. I had observed everyone sharing that allowed me to give my ultimate opening. I related with everyone’s different parts of their story, but this time I had no story to share. All I wanted was a hug , to cry openly Infront of everyone and say how grateful I was that I could connect with them and with a big Ahh! How pleased I was for being able to finally just be me, without trying or even wanting to make an effort on being perfect or holding my tears or trying to control my need for a hug for a kiss and for someone to just stand next to me and say they got me.
Even writing this for me is a big step because I am admitting this in public. I had a beautiful time in the retreat, I cried I laughed I connected I made friends and most importantly I allowed myself to be me.
Coming back on the airplane I kept hoping and wishing that this feeling of openness remains in my heart, I kept asking to attract people that wanted and needed the same thing It happened, coming back to Beirut for me was different this time, I was open and I was very capable to be relaxed and easy to connect with.
I was not thinking in advance what I will say, or making sure I see people only on my best days I was ready, so my connections with the friends that were ready immediately became deeper and I started attracting the people I needed. My tribe, the people that I can be myself and they can be themselves. In just a few weeks I met more people that are like me that I have met in years. Because I was ready, my heart was ready, and I was ready to be myself. I was ready to be vulnerable.
The past few weeks for me have been so different than any other weeks. I attracted friends and attracted clients that needed to take from me the same thing that I was given from moly, they needed to open their heart.
I could not have given them this gift before because I did not know how either Now I know. Now I also understand why connected was so difficult for me and for most of the people I know.
The fundamental of connecting deeply and with good foundations is the ability to show who you really are, be who you really are but at the same time respect who the other person is. Once both people are ready, the connection is instant, whether they are friends, partners, colleagues, it does not matter. If any of the two is not then the connection leaks, it leaks intimacy, it leaks trust, it leaks bonding and only brings miscommunication and triggers. It’s not easy to crack open your heart, we are usually given the opportunity when true deep love is given to you, or un barely loss hits your door.
But when the opportunity is given, we must be courageous, and take it, change our ways, be open, be vulnerable, speak from our hearts and without a wall. Many of my clients told me that their parents where different when they were young and sweeter more connective now.
I can only explain this in two ways, one its surely because they grew and two it’s because for people who have not cultivated the ability to connect deeply, it takes them a lot of time to connect. It takes them years to feel close, and I have the feeling that many of the parents of our generation, needed lots of time to cultivate deep connection with their children, it did not happen instantly.
The biggest pandemic of our generation was not covid, it is loneliness. We were given this new freedom to feel but we were not taught how to share the feelings, and we tend to keep them to ourselves, and this is the ultimate definition of loneliness.
To warm our hearts we need to share, we need to share who we are and then we won’t feel lonely, because not only we will be connected with others but also with ourselves.