A dear friend I have had for over 10 years recently visited me in Buenos Aires (my first visitor since moving here in early February!) and her stay made me think about connections to people and places. Arguably, establishing these connections is not just inevitable but a key element to a happy life. But what makes us feel connected to one person or place more than another, and what sustains that connection over time?
In the case of people, we often connect over shared interests, values, and physical spaces. Still though, it is perfectly common and yet baffling to me that someone feels more connected to a new friend he or she has just met in the last year than to a member of the family. In the same vain, how does a connection that draws a couple to marry – to have and to hold in sickness and in health forever after, etc. etc. – dissolve after one year, two years, or even after twenty? Yet on the other hand, I can reconnect with a friend I have not seen in years and pick up right where we left off…
What makes us feel an instant connection to someone else, like our souls understand each other or like maybe we have met before, while we pass sometimes hundreds of people daily that we barely even notice?
Places can have a certain draw too, beyond the practical and rational reasons like nice weather, reasonable cost of living or availability of good jobs. I can literally sense an energy in a particular city or place that validates I am where I should be. It’s like feeling of being at home even when it’s not my home and I don’t actually know anyone. In my case in particular, I was initially drawn to a whole region (Latin America), but then I refined that area after years of travelling and interacting with people in different countries and cities. For some inexplicable reason, I felt more than just a desire, but a need to live here, despite having no family or friends that I really knew prior to moving. Despite all of the stress and anxiety involved in transporting one’s life to another country to start all over (new apartment, new friends (hopefully!), new job, new culture), I feel an overwhelming sense of confidence that I am connected to this place and that I am exactly where I am destined to be right now. I would like to caveat that by saying it is not always roses and dulce de leche ice cream…read my next post to get a taste of the daily challenges and frustrations I have experienced!
In sum, everyone and everything is connected. It makes the world go ‘round. However I do think some connections are stronger than others because they move us toward our ultimate reason for existence – the lessons that we are each here to learn and the love that we are destined to give and receive. Those connections may be as simple as an inherent energy between two forces, just like the elements in nature. Or maybe it goes deeper than that, beyond the present consciousness? One of my favorite books by Dr. Brian Weiss shares the author’s experience treating a patient that remembers experiences from past lifetimes through hypnosis. He introduces the concept of infinite souls inhabiting different bodies over time (in the construct as we know it) and having encounters with other souls across multiple lifetimes.
As far as I am concerned, anything is possible and very likely beyond the scope of my human brain’s capacity to conceptualize. And it really doesn’t matter as long as I can tune into those connections and let them both guide me along my amazing journey and also bring me comfort and a sense of belonging somewhere in this world that can be so vast and challenging. I treasure my connections that endure over the years, and I also surrender those that fulfilled something I needed for a shorter period. I trust that if they are meant to resurface they will – perhaps in another space and time.