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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reconnecting with Loved Ones after Your Connection is Lost

'Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing 
there is a field. I'll meet you there.'  

'Love is the bridge between you and everything.'

Why Don't We Talk Any More?  Where'd You Go?

We all deal with difficult times communicating with family and friends. Over time, feelings can get hurt, political viewpoints can create chasms, and family feuds can create factions. 

But sometimes it's just life, distance, or familiarity that cause communication to dry up and that sense of connection to fade. 

In the communication void we harbor private theories about why we don't talk to each other any more, and then we fail to test those theories and further the divide. We just stop talking to one another about things of importance, get caught up in life, and continue to contribute to the communication conundrum in silence.

Where do you go when you realize you've lost that connection and you want to re-establish your relationship?

Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond 
that draws one person to another, not words.

The wound is the place the light enters you.

Reconnecting after Your Connection is Lost

So what's to be done when you suddenly wake up and want to rekindle your relationship? Is it even possible when so much time and life has passed without significant communication or connection? And is it worth 'risking the relationship' by reaching out to try to bridge the communication gap? 

Recently a friend wrote:

'My daughter-in-law and I once had a relatively close relationship, but over the past 10 years or so, it's deteriorated to the point that while she faithfully sends me Mother's Day, birthday and Christmas cards, I never have any other phone calls, emails or letters.  As time goes by, I feel even more estranged from her.  I haven't heard her phone voice for well over six years and although my son comes up she never does.  We were together for a wedding last year, but she hardly spoke to me.'
 She has two beautiful children  a girl, 16 and a boy, 14.  They're lovely, bright kids but, like her, I have virtually no contact with them.  They don't even send thank you notes when I send them gifts.
πŸ’™'Do you think I'm being overly emotional about this and perhaps I should just give up and accept she and I aren't ever going to have any kind of relationship?'
πŸ’š'Should I write to her telling her I would like to have more communication with her and that I care deeply for her?' 

Those questions pretty much sum up our quandary when we come up against the communication chasm: Should I just give up and accept the disconnection, or should I speak up and say I care deeply about you and I would like to have more communication and connection?

While each of us must answer those questions for ourselves, as Rumi said, 'Love is the bridge between you and everything.' If you let your actions and words be led by love, not hurt or judgment, you will strike an authentic tone that will convey your deep desire for connection with others.

On the other hand--if in an attempt to reconnect--your words or actions originate from a place of judgment or hurt you'll convey a message filled with expectations and recriminations.

If we're to come together to reconnect we must be willing to 'let go of holding on to a sense of wrong doing or right doing'. We must be willing to let go of hurts, expectations and the need to revisit past situations.  And we must let go of working from our head--and overthinking the situation--to come from our hearts--with compassion for both ourselves and others.

If words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart.

I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.
It's Not Always Personal

If you look deep enough you'll discover the lost connections weren't intentional. It's just what happened over time as people lived life and the ways to communicate changed.

As I wrote to my friend:

'You matter to me and I'm so glad you're in my life. We  make an effort to get together...but look how often that is.... not often. This isn't a judgment, it's just an observation. 
We're emailing our conversation which works for us.  Sometimes our chosen family who lives close by gets more attention than those at a distance. 
Sometimes nothing is wrong. It's just what happens as we do life.
I often email, phone and snail mail my kids without hearing anything  back from them. I realize they don't usually access voice mail or email, choosing to text instead.   
I love my kids and choose to keep up contact from my side without concern for getting a reply....unless it's been a long while and then I let them know if I fail to hear from them I'm calling the police (because I worry and a little guilt tripping never hurt any child). I've also let them know that the time is NOW to be in contact with their mother....soon enough I will be gone. (just saying...)
My point is we each have limitations on how we communication, where our attention goes, and what takes up our time. Teenagers--no matter how smart and kind--rarely write thank you notes, hello grandma notes or pick up the phone and call. They also think life goes on forever.
We need to reach out and communicate with those we care about without interpreting their failure to reply. 
If there is something that has gummed up your relationship so that loved one isn't talking to you....step past it....and communicate with them as if everything is okay.'

Be like the sun for grace and mercy. 
Be like the night to cover others' faults. 
Be like running water for generosity. 
Be like death for rage and anger. 
Be like the Earth for modesty. 
Appear as you are. Be as you appear.

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, another wise and wonderful post. I have a "lost connection" relative. I tried to keep the connection going after her mother's death 25 years ago, but it never quite got off the ground. I've long since "let it go." When I think of her I think of her fondly; no judgment, hurt, expectations or recriminations. And I hope it is the same with her whenever I pop into her head.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean--The passing of a family member is such a delicate time for family relations. Sometimes the person passing was the glue holding the family relations together. All we can do is send love--whether through the airwaves or in writing--to the lost connection. Sometimes you just might be surprised by a response--especially after years have passed. Time is short.