We all need healthy connections in our lives.
Meaningful connections are very important for a happy & fulfilled life. When I look at the world & the state that it is in with addiction rates so high, people being diagnosed with chronic pain, polarization between groups with differing beliefs etc, I can't help but wonder how we have become so divided. As I continue my work to heal connections in my life & examine them for what they truly are, I realize just how important they are to me & my overall wellbeing.
What the Research Says
I watched a Ted Talk by Johann Hari on addiction & he brings to light that what people are looking for in their addictive states is connection. I agree 100% as it was evidenced in my life by how I had lost the most meaningful connections to me, God, friends, & family. It's no coincidence that addicts & alcoholics isolate. I have also looked into Gabor Mate's research on trauma & addiction & how they correlate, as well as an article that I read a few years ago (the author eludes me at this time) that stated that alcohol is known as a "spirit" for a reason. It stated that we are looking for a connection with a higher being, vibration, or whatever you choose to call it. I found that I was looking to fill a void within myself & using whatever I could to feel connected to others, God, & myself. I was living proof of the research.
The need to numb
In trying to understand myself better, I have consumed tons of knowledge. What I have found to be true even if a person isn't addicted to something in their lives is that when we are overwhelmed by emotions we have a tendency to want to numb out. I mean look at the multi-million dollar alcohol industry & how alcohol is portrayed in advertisements as the cure for social anxiety & connectedness. In the city I live in there's literally nothing to do except go to the movies, church, party, have sex, do drugs, & drink a lot. I've worked where that is literally what we lived for, getting off work & drinking or waiting for the weekend to get completely blasted. We use substances, people, & even food to numb the pain of our insecurities & sensitivities. Our culture is not very tuned in to being an individual within a community. People are criticized for standing out in a way that society does not deem as acceptable. So we walk around suppressing who we are in an attempt to "fit in". It's draining & painful to know that you are not accepted by those you love the most & then experience that rejection in the broader population. We ultimately turn to those things that help us not feel so bad. Once we use these things & they change how we feel, they create a chemical dependency that will not turn us loose until we accept ourselves & our past exactly as they are. This empowers us to make the necessary changes we need to live our lives out loud & without shame for who we are.
Living Out Loud
What does it truly mean to live out loud? Does it mean the whole world needs to know your business? Does it mean trusting every person that comes your way with the beauty of who you are? No it does not. To me it means living the full expression of who you are without shame or care for what others think of you. So many people have so many opinions about other people's lives. Guess what...those opinions are irrelevant & have nothing to do with you. Continue to live your life out loud. As long as you are not harming yourself or anyone else, live your life.
If you take nothing else away from this post let it be to live authentically to the best of your ability. If you have mental health diagnoses, traumatic experiences, codependency, or attachment issues it can be difficult to live authentically. Nothing beats a fail but a try. Let what you can do daily to live authentically be enough. You will build upon this each time you do your best to show up authentically.
That's all I have to share in this post. As always I value connecting with you all & would appreciate your comments & questions. If you haven't already & want the opportunity to connect with me & the support I give please Join the Proving Ground or book a discovery call with me to see how I can support you in your journey. Also follow me on Instagram or Facebook for daily insights & inspiration for your life. See you along the road to self love!