The Soul Smoking Truth of Human Connection.

As a kid, I sometimes felt sad and lonely. Perhaps, you can relate.

Laying in bed at night, my brother sleeping under the covers next to me and my mom just down the hall, things never really made sense to me. And that ached.

I remember wanting to be heard and understood. My five-year-old brain didn’t have a whole lot of restrictive programming, so I just started talking to God (and if you don’t believe in God you could consider I was talking to my Soul-Self).

I came to understand early on that being human also involved this feeling of wanting to be loved and connected. We all yearn for that. Sometimes life provides that and often it doesn’t.

What I also have come to understand is that this very longing is the greatest gift of all to human connection . . Why? Because those of us willing to embrace that feeling and look more deeply into it, are likely to discover a liberation that goes beyond intellectual understanding. It is knowing that loneliness is not real.

Consider this: I know many people who are married, in community, leading teams and running companies who feel lonely, even though they are rarely alone. I know this because, for over twenty years, I have been listening deeply to people. I have learned to listen to a person’s Soul as opposed to just the content of what they are saying. Yes, content matters, but often a person wants to be heard beyond their words. I have wanted to be heard that way in my life. And if I have felt that way, then I suspect you may have felt that way too because you and I are not that different.

Sure, we may look different, behave differently, have completely different beliefs about life, religion, politics, social norms or whatever, but deep inside, in our essence, we are very much the same.

This is what I have learned in deeply listening to people for a lifetime. We are ONE and buying in to the illusion that we are separate is the greatest sickness on the planet today because that is what produces the feeling of loneliness.

This has gotten so far out of hand that loneliness is considered an epidemic today. And while I don’t have any science to prove it, I suspect it’s pandemic in North America.

I recently read a study put out by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) that concludes that “loneliness is more dangerous than obesity and as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day”. I think this puts into perspective that the trajectory of human connection as a world trend, may be going in the wrong direction.

One solution to this, I believe, is found by exploring a more fundamental question: What does your Soul want? Pursuing this question requires courage. But authentic people can handle that. Being a Soul Centered Person means having a brave heart. It means venturing into the unknown, peeling back the layers of comfort and turning to face the destructive dragon of our own darkness.

For example, I have learned, through listening to the hearts of others, that reaching goals doesn’t necessarily produce fulfillment. I have supported thousands of people over the years in accomplishing huge goals. Yes, often there is elation from great victories. And still, sometimes, that person has felt lonelier because they still didn’t have the experience of acceptance and connection they anticipated.

However, I believe we can have both accomplishment and fulfillment. We are living in a time, when some of us are going out of our comfort zones to share the depth of our humanity with others. And as we do, we become more human, more available and, dare I say, more approachable as leaders; leaders in life to be certain and leaders in business.

It takes courage to live from our humanity and I believe we can enhance our life experience as a result of doing it.

And forgive me for the oversimplification, but I want to add some tangibility to a topic that is ethereal at best. What if you just give your Soul more of a voice? What if you were to allow the Soul, as opposed to the Ego, to guide you? One thing is for sure: you would probably live a life in acceptance rather than judging things through the filter of right and wrong. I say this because I believe the Soul is interested only in learning, growth, and advancement. So the tendency would be

toward looking at things through the lens of acceptance, which allows the Soul greater expansion where judgment only produces contraction.

Does that mean you don’t care? Hell no! It means you “care so much that you transcend care”. Human beings who understand this idea, are powerful people to be around because they don’t withhold thoughts, feelings or actions and they are also somehow detached from expectation as they go about changing the world. These beautiful, courageous Souls infuse everything with a ton of Love.

Ultimately, love is what it’s all about. And I have found that being courageous and speaking the truth as I know it, whether it’s popular or not, does not create barriers between me and others as I feared it would. In fact, it does just the opposite. My authenticity opens the doors to greater trust, connection, and, yes, love. And that’s what, as human beings, I believe we’re all striving for because in the presence of love there is no sad or lonely.

So, how can you put this into action? If you happen to feel brave today, this is what I encourage you to do: Get quiet. I don’t mean at the stoplight. I mean sitting somewhere where you will not be interrupted. Turn off your phone. Close your eyes. Just listen to yourself breathe for a minute or two. Then turn your awareness to the inner level of your being. When you’re still, ask the question: What does my Soul need from me?

Then, listen. Do your best not to filter, judge or interpret. Just listen.

What do you think you might hear? What might you do with that, information?