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Loving by Disconnecting (Part 1)

Do you ever have those weeks where you interact with numerous people and then reflect upon what was said? These week I noticed a reoccurring topic that tended to weave its way into numerous conversations?

This week the theme revolved around disconnecting - expanding further on this inability to "turn off." Again back to that "I have one million things to do and my brain won't shut off" phenomenon we all suffer from on a daily basis. Oh wait, or is it just me? HA. Now add to that list the complexities of life and being so connected that you fell compelled to be plugged in. Whether this is connected to your phone or unable to disconnect from the emotional baggage other people may throw at you.

A friend of mine recently shared that she was adopting this new mentality: “loving by disconnecting.” Using this mantra or rather strategy with those around her. Throughout our conversation it became clear to me that she was not showing a lack of compassion or empathy for those she loves but rather to be able to distance the intensity of emotions felt in response to their emotions.

People are intellectual, complex beings that crave other people to content with. Through our intricate life we experience complex situations coupled with emotions. Friends and family often feel this need to share their burden in order to lighten their own load. This is completely normal and something I do as well. Honestly, I think its quite remarkable that us humans can share these beautiful connections with others.

However, throughout all of this it is important to be able to distance yourself and disconnect from the emotional components that may be draining to your own life. This can range from relationships that are family or friend related, to the relationship boundaries you are setting with social media. This empowers you to have more control and enhance the experiences that you do have.

Enrichment and vitality is what I am striving for and by adopting this mentality will allow me to accomplish that.

Imagine, a good friend of yours is going through a difficult time and you want to be there for them. However, you find that throughout their struggles, you feel as if your energy has been sucked out as well? How is that fair to you when you also have to deal with sifting through and organizing your own emotions? Short-term, this interaction is completely fair. It is what we do for those we love. However, long term it is not sustainable -- its draining.

By adopting this "love by disconnecting" mentality allows you to still be present, empathetic and compassionate for the people that you love but allows your emotions to be less negatively impacted by them.

I don't have some crazy technique (at least not this week) to help make this achievable or easier. I am writing about this topic more like I would a journal entry. This acts as a reminder for myself because it makes these concepts tangible. Now that I can see it, I can become more present of my own emotional attachment and mood regulations in relation to other peoples "life pickles."

I think the takeaway for me here is to highlight what is important, to be okay with loving as well as embracing the need to disconnect. Its okay to crave space, or to take the space you need. I think this is incredible relevant with the up and coming holiday season.

Taking your space is important. Disconnecting is important. Loving others is important. Loving your self is important. Striving for balance between all of these is the name of the game and perhaps disconnecting is the key to the winning hand.

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