Kathy, I am so glad to hear from you.
I am a worrier and was anxious to hear that you are well.
That’s how her sweet note began, my friend who lives 1,096 miles from my house. I was so glad to hear from her. Friendship in these days of isolation and anxiety about pandemic 2020 has taken many forms, with new ways of connecting and round-about ways to still be “with” your community. My friend’s note made me suddenly think about my connection with her — when it happened, how it happened, how it has endured over time.
These hard days of self-isolation, sheltering in place — or whatever we might call the situation we’re living — causes me to think a great deal about my friends and my communities. I am safe in my communities. I belong. I have to admit that not being able to be with the sisters in my church community causes unease in me and a disquieted sense of disconnection. I have discovered, all over again, that my life takes on the rhythms of my community, creating a sacred dance of sisterhood.
If we have learned one thing from the disconnections this coronavirus has created, it is that disconnection is simply a reality of life. Disconnection is all about human relationship and the many ways our hearts connect to other hearts.
It seems to me that it is important for us to give serious thought to our disconnections, how we could have mislaid friends along the way. It is also worth our time to think about the connections we do have. Could we ask ourselves some of the following questions and trust ourselves to answer them honestly?
What connects you to another person?
What do you cherish about your connections?
What does it require relationally to maintain a connection?
How have your past connections broken?
What could you have done to prevent the break in your relationship?
Are there relationships in your life that you need to disconnect?
Where is your heart-place that touches another person’s heart?
How do you protect your soul connections?
So many questions to consider! So much time we have in these days of self-isolation to think about the relationships we cherish so deeply. Thinking about connections and relationships is actually a very good thing to do. If we cherish a certain connection, what can we do to strengthen it?
In my life, there are so many connections that I cherish. I have friends all over the world, some I am in close contact with, but others who have disconnected from me. The many times we disconnect over a lifetime can hardly be counted. The longer we live, the more friends we have lost for one reason or another. My best work is to find ways to connect with my disconnected friends — at least the ones that my heart has held a place for. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to reach across miles or time to connect with a mislaid friend, to rediscover the place where our hearts touched and, perhaps, to restore a deep friendship?
Back to my friend who sent me the note . . .
With her, finding the place where our hearts touch is very easy. Here’s the end of her note:
Blessings for continued good health.
We will definitely stay in touch because our hearts touched through a miracle. My friend donated her kidney to give me a better, longer life. That day, we were in two different hospitals — 1,002 miles apart — but a connection happened between us when her kidney came to me just a few hours after her surgery. What a gift she gave me! What a lifelong connection we will have!
I hope you will take some time to think about your connections, the important ones and the ones that don’t feel important to you. Who knows! You may rekindle some connections, pay closer attention to other connections and even break some that need to be broken.
Until next time — be well and stay safe.