The Beauty, Power, and Fun of Connection
Hi my name is Amy Shenk and I am that person who can make a conversation with a brick wall. I absolutely love connecting with people, anytime anywhere. I believe that we see other's human-ness when we connect with them. We desire connection because it makes us feel like we belong.
When I was trying to decide what I would write about today, connection came to my mind because of some recent experiences I have had. And because I know how much everyone likes to read other people's mail, here are some open letters to some recent people with whom I have connected....
What a beautiful gift it was to sit next to you on the plane ride from Pensacola to Houston. I loved talking to you during our flight and it was fun to realize that we have so much in common. Our conversation about our walks with God, working out, and future plans fueled my passion for people and loving others. But the icing on the cake was finding out that we go to the same church and live about 1 mile from each other. It is always nice to get a new workout buddy and I can’t wait to do sprints with you TODAY at Spotts Park. See you at 6pm, friend!
I will always remember your name because it is my Dad’s! You are the fourth friend I have made while sitting in my “spot” at Blacksmith coffee shop. Thank you for making me feel interesting while I shared my limited understanding of nutrition, the paleo diet, and my favorite blogs about the subject. You encouraged me to continue to share my passion for good food with others and you took the time to ask me questions about why I care. Thank you for being kind and cool.
Thank you for connecting with me! From the time of our first conversation in the Blacksmith parking lot to our most recent encounter, you reminded me that listening and asking good questions are the foundation for a great conversation. I love that we both come from big families but I am jealous that you have me beat by five siblings. Although, I don’t necessarily envy your position of being the youngest of 12,what an interesting spot to be placed into! I know that being the oldest has its pressures but sometimes being the youngest has its difficulties as well. It was fun to share our experiences of having older siblings with each other.
These new links to others have reminded me that relationships, conversations, and connections are vital to a great human experience. One of my favorite authors, Brene Brown speaks to the importance of connection:
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
I am, you are, we are so worthy of connection and love. Connections keep us grounded and strong. I hope you have an awesome Monday and that you set an intention to connect with someone today!
p.s. here is another quote from the amazing Brene Brown:
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are