Isn't connection something we all search for? I don't mean just with another person but with a passion, a hobby, nature, a common goal, anything you feel pulled to. Connection is essential to life. I've come to realize recently that I search for connection in everything I do. I attempt to connect with the people I meet and get to know each day. I search for connection in the activities I do, that meaning that tells me I am on the right path.
I facilitate a military transition class where I help members prepare to enter the civilian world again after their time in the military, whether it's 3 or 30 years. Each class brings its own special circumstances. The first activity I ask them to do is to interview someone in the class to find out 5 things: name, where that person is from, what they do in the military, where they want to go after transitioning and what they want to do. I ask them to do this to show them the power of connection and the ability we have to connect with people on so many different areas. The most powerful connection, and one that many times gets people to open up the most, is the understanding that we all have fears and we share many of those fears. We may think ourselves alone in our fears but when someone has the courage to share their fear, we feel more connected and that connection allows us the vulnerability to share ours.
I've become more open as my time as a facilitator has gone on and I have seen so many men and women, regardless of age or rank or "achievement" open up and share their concerns and fears. I start the conversation at different times in each class, normally gauging the class' ability to open up and also listen. The result never ceases to amaze me. I will share a genuine fear I've had in my life, something I dealt with or still do to this day; a fear that pertains to my transition from the military. You see my biggest fear is failure, as cliche as it sounds. But even more than that it's the fear that my next career wouldn't live up to the success I had in the military. Always comparing then and now but who determines my success? I do. That was the answer I received in a few of my classes. There was our connection. That was the spark that opened the class up, allowed them to share what kept them up at night and brought about a more genuine conversation.
We all desire to know there is another sharing the energy, feelings, and thoughts we do. We desire connection in the jobs, hobbies, and activities that we do each day. We might find connection reading a book, listening to music or being in nature.
We're all searching for a connection. Where do you find yours?