Who started the lie that healthy people should feel 100 percent whole—with or without important someones in their lives? Who started the lie that connections/friendships are a bonus and not an essential component to our well-being?
We need people. We need connection. We need to be seen by others.
No one is “complete” without other people.
This is whole you declaring, “I need people, I need connection because my whole life is better with people.”
Brave you needs people in your life.
“I know, people disappoint.
“People betray, people get busy, people say stupid things like “God knows what he is doing.” (taken from I Wish I Could Take Away Your Pain, p. 5)
You still need people. You still need connection. We are designed by God this way.
There is a new study of neuroscience called Two-Person Neuroscience (2PN). The brain is being measured for the experience of connected synchrony. This research is returning amazing truth.
When people watch a movie together, their brains’ emotional responses synchronize–even when watching with strangers. (Wow!) Simply sharing physical space with someone can be enough to synchronize heartbeats. (Wow! Wow!) We automatically mirror facial expressions of the person we’re talking to and experience the emotion that goes with those expressions, and we involuntarily match body movements and vocal pitch. (You notice that, right?)
We are all walking around co-regulating one another all of the time, synchronizing without trying. (Burnout, Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski, p. 136)
We have physiological need of each other. At our very basic levels we are co-regulating with one another all of the time. This is the gift of people.
Some people are richer gifts to us than others. Intentionally find those.
During the pandemic I moved from youth pastor to pastor. Big C Church as we know it has forever changed. My role in my church has forever changed. One of my goals as pastor of my church is to offer connections to each other. This will not be a church you can “spectate” and then return home. Or still be at home because you are watching digitally which is the new norm.
As pastor I am purposely creating connections whenever possible. We have conversations during the church service. We offer small groups with intentional conversations. This is important to me because I want my church family to co-regulate each other. I want our heartbeats to synchronize. I want the iron-sharpening-iron depth of relationships to be mixed with faith. I believe this will change our world. I am in Year 40 of being a pastor because I believe Jesus will change this world.
Here is a brave goal for you: Determine to make some connecting relationships. An added bonus is if they are connecting around you and your faith.
I define bravery as your decisions to actually trust God. That is full of vulnerability because with God there is not the guarantee of the controlled outcome you want. This goal is going to put you at risk for people to disappoint you. Even betray you. But we need connection.
Something 2020 has taught us is we need connection. Even when we found it “easier” to shelter-in-place and close ourselves off to so many relationships, our souls felt the loss of connection. You felt your soul awaken when you were finally able to have coffee with that friend or meet again with your small group. It felt so good to be seen deeply by that someone.
I hope so much that you have at least one person in your life who is so synchronized with you that they quite literally feel your pain and are able to carry you through it. I wrote a book about that because these relationships have made me the brave person that I am.
When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.Dr. Brene’ Brown quoting Martin Buber, Daring Greatly, p. 150,
My dependent faith on a Savior needs people too. I need that electricity—or having our hearts synchronized—to do the brave work God calls me to. I need the gift of people.
You do too.