Hungry For Connection
I recently completed a guided meditation on loneliness where it was suggested that hunger and loneliness are spurred on by the same need in a person’s brain. When our tummy tells our brain it needs nourishment, we act on that need, but do we act on our need for connection when we’re lonely?
Like many of you, my yearning for connection grew by leaps and bounds the past three years. With very little recourse, my personal world became smaller and smaller, and although my husband is great company day-in and day-out (for over 23 years now) I still craved interaction with others. Then the world opened up and doing something and going somewhere finally became an option.
But I was still lonely and didn’t know how to satisfy that hunger.
I have very few friends nearby. It seems once a person no longer goes to work each day, exhausts their desirous volunteer activities, and their neighbors move away, there are fewer opportunities to make healthy connections. I have a literal ache to make friends and spend quality time with them. I am happy to say that for the past three months, I have found that connection at a weekly class offered by the city in which I live.
The class is a combination of Tai Chi with the healthy addition of maintaining physical balance in ones’ later years. I turn seventy years old next month so it stands to reason that seeking better balance would be high on my priority list. I am receiving the benefits of such exercise with the added benefit of meeting new people and spending time with them. The twenty students in the class are all of a certain age, the youngest being 50 and the oldest appears to be in their 80s.
None of us students have perfected the art of Tai Chi. We will no doubt never reach the perfection of form demonstrated by our teacher Julie, but as she emphasizes each and every class session, “You do you” and that is exactly what I am doing.
The need to connect is still there. There are some deeper connections in the class I hope to make. But if I hadn’t sought that initial connection, the possibility of gaining a deeper connection would have no chance of happening. I guess a good way of summing up matters is to say that if I hadn’t done my part, I would still be as isolated as I was before, and suffering the same mental health deficit I felt at the beginning of this year. As Yoda of Star Wars movie franchise fame so succinctly said:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
If you don’t set a goal, you’ll never reach it. If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive. We only have one life to live. Please don’t let it expire without your participation.
You do you.