Monday, November 14, 2016

Courage to Connect

Often times we go through life lonely and alone.  Both have different meanings.  Lonely to me is when we choose not to connect to those around us when we feel drawn to them.  Alone is when we are surrounded by people yet we don't let them in our hearts or lives.

Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone and feeling connected right off.  I am talking about that connection where you feel it and something stirs in your heart.  I have to admit that for a long time those feelings confused me.  Especially when it was another man I felt that connection for.  It would leave me wondering where it came from and if it was appropriate or not.   On rare occasions the feeling has even brought me to tears.  What I mean by that is the feeling of being connected to that person was so overwhelming and powerful and stirred my heart so profoundly that it actually brought tears to my eyes.  

Over the years I have learned to understand and accept those types of experiences and even more important I have learned to act upon them.   The important thing to say here is that as I have learned to act upon those feelings  my life has been changed in remarkable ways.

As a young man I was fearful to act upon those feelings.  The fear of rejection and misunderstanding was to powerful for me to move or open my heart up to accept those feelings.  After all we live in a society that is not really good about connecting.  We live with our walls up and rarely take them down.  We allow superficial relationships to develop, but rarely allow others in the deepest parts of our hearts.  The fear of rejection is huge and to be transparent and vulnerable is not considered a strength, at least to most,  and especially among men.

Relationships are hard to say the least.  But some of my most prized relationships are those that happened when I was instantly connected to the person.  There is more to it then we understand, but I believe deeply that those connections started before we even came here.  When I have acted upon those types of feelings the end result every time is a good wonderful friendship.  Perhaps the reason is that the friendship was already started and we are just picking up where we left off.  Many have had the same experience of meeting someone and the friendship is so natural and easy that it leaves you amazed.   Often times we have to work at building a friendship, and I do love those friendships, but the best are when it just comes naturally.   When you already know the person and what is really great  is when the feelings are mutual.  Often times we don't understand, but after we talk and get to know the person we find out they had the same experience we had.

Funny story about that is over the years I have become comfortable with connecting and when I feel that deep connection I act.  A while back I was traveling and was at an event.  I walked into the room and had that overwhelming experience.  My heart stopped and I walked up to the man and he reached over to shake my hand.  I took his hand and pulled him up and hugged him and told him we were going to be best friends.   He was a little shocked to say the least, but after he got over the shock it was ok.  We are best friends now and I am so grateful to have him in my life.  So grateful that I was able to follow my gut feeling.  His friendship is a great blessing to me.  My life has been spiritually blessed from his association.

Life is a challenge, and one that we don't have to take on alone.  It is a challenge to take a chance, but when we take chances great things happen.  I have to say that most of my deep meaningful friendships are because one of us took a chance and showed courage to move beyond the wall of comfort to connect.   In each case once one of us got beyond the wall we have established wonderful friendships.  Not the pat on the back kind, but meaningful, transparent, open friendships where one really feels loved and accepted.

It takes a huge amount of courage to connect.  It takes courage to overcome the fear of rejection.  It takes courage to not worry about what people will think.  It takes courage to be open and transparent. It takes courage to reach out, step out, and open up to accept others into our lives and hearts.  It takes courage to connect.

I have heard over the years that we are considered lucky if we have one good friend in our lives.  I think that the human heart has an unlimited ability to love,  there are no limits on how many people we can let into our hearts or how deeply we can love them.  The only limits are the ones we place there out of fear and misunderstanding.    For me,  I will continue to take down my walls and let others in that special place called friendship.  After all life's greatest blessing are the three " F's".  Family, Friends, and Food.

Enjoy the Journey
Your Friend~Brad


  1. I agree that it takes courage and sacrifice to turn acquaintances into lasting and meaningful friendships. Spending time with those true friends is therapeutic and renewing for me. It is worth the effort, the vulnerability, the risk.

  2. There is nothing like the love between men that can renew your spirit and mind. People often confuse love and sex, which is like cake and the frosting. Affection is part of both, as is intimacy. People have difficulty separating the terms. They don't understand that intimacy doesn't require sex but it is preposterous to assume one leafs to the other. I often wish I could be the John in the scriptures who laid his head on the chest of Jesus. How intimate is that? It is amazing to me. The expression of men greeting men with kisses is wonderful to me but in today's world the thought is shameful in America's culture. Yet, across the globe it is an acceptable practice. Doesn't this tell us something? I am learning it is worth the risk and am continually looking to find deeper meaning to thisr relationships with men, hoping to find a person who is able to understand that relationship and can share it with me on a regular basis. I feel it is worth the risk.