There are so many uncomfortable emotions that have been floating around the world—and my world—these past few weeks.
Hate and rage and blatant disregard for others. Sadness and grief and overwhelming loss.
But the emotion I’m struggling with the most, and the emotion that silently accompanies so much of the pain we’re feeling is disconnection.
We feel detached from what is going on in the world around us, or even what we’re experiencing daily in our own lives, because it feels too big, too hard, too depressing. We feel isolated from those we don’t agree with or those who seem unable to understand our point of view or recognize our value.
There’s a separation. A gap that feels too big to fill. A bridge that appears too long to cross.
So we stand on our side wondering if there will ever be enough words, or the right words, to bring us back together.
And in the absence of a solution, of finding the right words to create connection, so many of us choose to give in to our pain. We react. We become defensive. We choose anger.
And in doing so, the divide just grows.
This TikTok video from S.B. Keshava Swami, a spiritual author and teacher, beautifully explains what happens to our hearts when we let this anger take over.
His words might be just what we need to bridge the gap in our relationships:
@keshavaswami When we have a loving relationship with someone, the hearts are connected and close, allowing us to communicate easily with each other. #love #peace #KeshavaSwami #SBKS #WisdomThatBreathes ♬ Nature Sound – The Meditation – Red Blue Studio
“They say when two people are angry at each other, you know why they shout? It’s a bit strange because they’re right next to each other…like, why are you shouting? You’re right next to that person.
One ancient Sufi saint, he said the reason why people shout when they’re angry is because although they’re next to each other physically, their hearts have become so far apart. And because their hearts are so far apart, they feel the need to shout to try and make up that distance that has been created.
And have you noticed it works the other way as well? When you have a very loving relationship and your heart is very close to someone, sometimes you can be with them in the room and you don’t even have to say a word. Just the movement of the face and they understand you and you understand them, because the hearts are very, very close.”
So how do we move from hearts that are far apart to hearts that are unbreakably close?
First, there has to be awareness. We have to be able to acknowledge when we feel emotionally far away from others, whether that be our partner, our friends, or random people on the internet. We have to be able to notice when disconnection has occurred.
Then, there has to be willingness. We have to recognize when we’re actually hoping and longing for connection even as we choose anger. We have to be willing to be vulnerable, to let others know that although we’re hurt, we want to be close. We want to connect and have helpful conversations.
And then we need to stop shouting and start listening to each other.