Laura Crow, LMSW with MWR Counseling
The connection that underlies all others is the connection we have to ourselves. How can we bring our authentic selves to a relationship, if we don’t first know who that person is? When we connect with our children, our partners, our friends, our coworkers – we first need to know the man (cough cough, woman) behind the curtain. So often our lives are outwardly directed as we try to serve and support others, that time for inward reflection and knowledge can be pushed to the side or lost completely. How do we come back to it? How can I introduce me…to me?
Getting to Know You
Good news: we do not need to buy the next expensive product or manufacture extra hours in the day to start to reconnect. We can invest a few minutes at a time to begin to get to know the person we talk to the most each day (cheesy, but it’s true – that’s you!). If you met a new person, what would you want to know about them? Would you ask about what they enjoy doing, what makes them laugh, how they relax after a rough day? Try asking yourself a get-to-know-you question each day.
If you draw a blank on your answer, maybe take a moment to try to remember the last time you experienced something that relates. Did using your favorite scent in your oil diffuser give you a moment of calm in the midst of a stormy day? Did wearing your favorite comfy pants help you decompress? How can you begin to use those moments on purpose instead of by accident? When your partner asks “How can I help?” instead of wanting to yell “I don’t know!” does this reflection open the door for you to say “I need to take a 10 minute hot shower without any tiny humans in the bathroom” because you know your needs well enough to share them with someone else?
Pause and Turn Inward
Our bodies and our minds are deeply connected – our thoughts and our feelings are interwoven with our physical experiences. Taking a minute or two each day to pause and ask yourself “What’s my biggest emotion today? How do I know I feel that way? What in my body gives me a clue?” can even further deepen our connection with ourselves and our experience of our world.
Feelings are physical – they are messages to us about what we’re experiencing and what we need to do. Does your chest ache when you’re sad? Do you feel a pit in your stomach when you’re worried? Does your jaw clench when you’re mad? Revealing the connections between our bodies and our minds through quick, daily introspection can help reveal ourselves and our needs. And that knowledge can begin to build a strong foundation for all the other enriching, necessary connections in life.
Read the first five posts on connection with MWR Counseling here:
Connection: A Powerful Tool in Overall Wellness
Bringing Connection to your Relationship with your Toddler
How to Foster Connection with your Teen
Connection with your Adult Children
Connection with your Partner
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