I just hopped off the phone with one of my partners in life, love and work. She’s someone I’ve known for several years. She’s the kind of human who looks you in the eyes when you’re talking, and listens to the spaces in between what you say. She listens and hears what most people can’t hear. She’s exceptional, and she’s one of my best friends.
She’s also the same person I texted this week when I was feeling sad, hormonal, and isolated.
When I was feeling disconnected. From myself, from her, from the world.
So, years ago, in my undergrad, I read a little Marx. I read about the ways capitalism keeps us isolated from one another. Of course I know this. We live in a world that has all of us fighting against our own disconnectedness, all the time. There are SO, so, SO many reasons for this.
This morning, the entire public school system in LA (LAUSD) cancelled schools.
900 schools stayed home. Teachers, admin, students. 900 schools.
There was a “credible bomb threat.”
Even though I’ve gotten to the place in life where I’m almost numb to the ways we are bombarded by massacre, war and murder, I still feel it.
Is it any wonder that today I felt sad? Any wonder that these kind of events trigger the deepest part of me that can’t believe the world we live in?
The part of me that feels sad and lonely. That feels the deep dis-connection among all of us, among all of humanity.
And, hey, I have a lot of love in my life. A lot of friends. An amazing community. An incredible chosen and biological family.
I am fucking blessed.
Yet, I still feel sad and disconnected from myself and the world a lot more than I would like.
So back to my friend I mentioned above.
She’s a super integral part of my kinship network. She witnesses me. She makes space for me. She prioritizes me in her life. And, I like to think I do the same for her, and for many beloveds I care for in what I hope to be a strong, interconnected web of community.
The idea of chosen family has been around in queer & trans communities since way, way before my time. I think it’s probably been around in many communities that have experienced any kind of trauma in life — the kind of trauma that rips us away from families that love us — the kind of trauma that has us born into families that maybe don’t love us well enough.
What I like even more than the notion of chosen family is the idea of a whole network of kinfolk that I can call home. Who I can call upon when I need to. Who make some effort to reach out when they haven’t heard from me. Who make an effort to give me much-needed love when I feel sad. Who make time to see me and sometimes cook for me. Who make time to do healing work with me. Who make time to pick up the phone and call me. Who fight with me and still love me. Who let me cry and be emo. Who ask questions. My kinfolk are those people who make time and space to connect with me in all of our busy, disconnected lives.
As I read this over, I realize that I had a sister my whole life who did this my whole life for me. I had parents who did this. Cousins. Aunties & Uncles. A brother. Close friends. I am one of the lucky ones.
What occurred to me over the last month, as my own business and life have rapidly expanded, is that my connections with my kinfolk can feel a little weak at times, a little strained, a little disconnected. LIFE is happening. Some of my dearest loves are moving out of town, traveling around the world, in the throes of new-fire-sexy-time-love, working hard around the clock, nurturing family in times of grief, finding themselves again in the space of new motherhood, pregnant, in school, trying to figure out what they want to do, in new jobs, lost, found, and everything in between.
We are all going through it. All of the time.
I include myself in this because lately there are moments when I just feel so lonely.
Like I’m the only one going through my own particular struggle.
My struggles with self-worth and my value; struggles with trust; struggles with fear and doubt about a range of topics.
What came into focus for me was how much feelings of disconnection make me sad.
How disconnection and isolation contribute to my fears and doubts — make those fears and doubts and struggles BIGGER.
I don’t want those hardships to get bigger. I want them smaller.
They can be there. I honor them for what they are. I even share important bonds over struggles (and resilience) with my beloveds. But I’d much rather my struggles be a part of the silk weaving of my life. A part of the majesty of me. Sewn into the overall picture of me, but not the primary story.
I am someone who knows what low-level anxiety and sadness and grief feel like. I know that most everyone I know is familiar with all of this, as well; and many much more so than me.
I also know that part of what makes me committed to the creative and healing work I do in the world is my own experience of struggle. Of isolation. Of lost-ness. Of anxiety and sadness.
So let’s talk about how to feel into connection when we are feeling super sad and disconnected.
What do you do in those times?
For me – I try and look at what I’m spending my time doing.
I make a mental list or sometimes a physical list.
Am I reaching out to friends? Going to coffee shops to do work in community spaces? Am I writing (this is a huge one for me)? Am I honoring my temple (IE: cleansing rituals, make-up rituals, eating well)? Have I reached out to my blood family lately? Those are some of the self-care practices that have leverage for me.
While I totally honor the season of winter and that I sometimes feel sad during this time, I also call in the spirit of all those things that make me feel good. Like: connection. All that helps me feel CONNECTED.
Okay, so why am I writing all of this?
Because it’s when we are honest about our Disconnection that we can begin to call in Connection.
To one another, to ourselves, to our purpose, to the world.
It’s from our place of tenderness & unconditional love for our sadness and disconnection that our feelings of joy and connection can begin to come back in.
So right now, call or text a friend or family member.
Tell them how and why you’re feeling disconnected.
I’m grateful I re-connected with my friend today. That small re-connection helped me feel reconnected to myself and the Universe. Helped me write this post. Helped me share with you, from a place of Power & Vulnerability.
You can call upon me, too, if you’d like. I’m just an email or a phone call away.
And most importantly, just love up on yourself.
Notice what things you love that you’re NOT doing right now.
Try and make some space to DO those things that make you feel good (shower, make-up, writing, exercise, beach, etc).
Ideally, bring in some active movement.
Because, we are all in this together.