Connection To Life

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The common sentiment among people who have come to feel disconnected from life is that if they could just figure out a way to cultivate a new sense of connection, if they could once again feel plugged in, their suffering would come to an end.

What they don’t consciously realize is that becoming disconnected was an unconscious strategy taken to reduce suffering. When you’re connected you’re exposed, to the good but also to the bad, to the wanted but also to the unwanted, to the possibility of happiness but also to the possibility of unhappiness.

There’s no guarantee with emotional attachment, with connection, that life will go smoothly, that all will be bliss in chosen endeavors and intimate relationships. The only guarantee is that these endeavors and relationships will be experienced fully and authentically, with interest and sensitivity.

So while it’s true that happiness and fulfillment are impossible without the felt sense of connection to life and people, cultivating that sense of connection still constitutes a very real psychological risk. It’s exposing the soft underbelly and then hoping for the best. Disconnecting is an attempt to reduce that risk by dampening down the felt intensity. Of course it’s a strategy that ends in failure since the result is a new kind of suffering, the suffering that comes from the empty feeling that something is missing.