In our hyper-connected world, we often feel more personally disconnected than ever. Some descriptive terms and situations that used to make me roll my eyes are now things I actively seek out, and crave on a soul level, including safe containers, community, and connection.
In our hyper PC culture and filtered social media world, places to feel safe and seen, warts and all, are something I (and lots of people I know and work with) are missing. Where can you go and just be with others in whatever state you’re in?
Where can you show up with your messy human life and current challenges and share your struggles? Or ask for help?
When coaches or therapists used the term “safe container,” I will confess that it felt too squishy and I wanted to walk out of the room, but not anymore. Now, I am jealously guarding my personal safe container, and actively trying to create safe spaces for my clients who are working through the impossible ups and downs of job search and pandemic life.
Do you have physical or virtual places you can go to hang out with “your people”? These spaces can be around any topic you like – hobbies, business topics, inspiring teachers, celebrities, thought leaders – you name it!
It’s very common to bash Facebook, and believe me I know ALL the downsides of it, but I would not have gotten through 2020 and 2021 without my connections around the world on Facebook, and all the groups / communities I belong to. I am interested in some esoteric topics, and I would have a slim chance of finding other folks interested in these things if someone didn’t host a Facebook group around them.
I’ve been to class reunions and virtual weddings and live teachings and pretty much everything you can think of online, and you probably have as well.
Today, I will have the absolute joy of connecting with my favorite networking group in person while enjoying an adult beverage. These beautiful souls are definitely my people, and one of the communities that help me navigate my life as a solo business owner.
Just because you are friends with someone on Facebook or connected on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you have a real connection, in my opinion. That said, I have a very close connection with some folks I have only known online.
It is amazing when you can combine meeting someone online with some in-person bonding. Those relationships tend to last for decades, at least mine do.
If you didn’t know, loneliness is at epidemic levels in all segments of the population, although you only tend to hear about how the elderly are experiencing it. Feeling connected to others is a key contributor to good mental health and to physical well-being, including being a predictor of longevity. “Researchers have found that loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social relationships.”
So, I hope I have inspired you to find your people on and offline. Maybe you’ve changed over the past few years? Lots of us have. Maybe you think you’re the only person interested in something? I can assure you that Facebook, Meetup, Eventbrite, or some other website or location will help you find others who want to talk about the same thing you do.
And when you find your people, you’ll feel more connected to yourself, others, and maybe even humanity at large, which can only be a good thing.