Do you seek Acceptance or Connection?

If I had asked myself this question only 4 months ago, I would have answered that it’s the same thing.  I now see things very differently than only 4 short months ago.

Reverting back to one of our primal core desires, we seek to be part of something.  To have a sense of belonging.  To be part of a tribe.  Connection to like minded souls.  The problem is over time that has shifted from a quest for belonging and survival, to a quest for acceptance and validation which leads us to alter our behavior in order to match the group we seek acceptance from.  The result?  A group of people not with common goals, missions, and beliefs, but a group of people all wearing masks and producing filtered pictures.  It leaves one guessing what’s actually real anymore.

That was the case with me.  My soul craved connection.  Connection on a deep meaningful level.  Similar missions, similar goals, similar senses of purpose.  So in my quest for connection I started to alter my behavior in order to gain acceptance into the groups I believed could be my people.  That created major internal conflict.  My soul knew it was wrong, it knew I was putting on a mask.

Now here’s the thing about being gifted, it makes me intensely attentive. So I was able to see all the masks other people were wearing too.  I didn’t know that at the time though, I just knew, I felt that things weren’t right.  That created frustration.  I knew I was altering my behavior in order to fit in but I was denying it.   I could see others were doing the same thing and I started to believe the whole world was fake.  I felt the world was nothing but a fabricated filtered photo.  I had lost trust in connection.

So I retreated.  To see me in public besides work was a very rare thing.  I trusted no one.  I believed clubs, associations, and groups all to be fake manifestations of desperation.  People wearing masks in order to be accepted into a group, and true connection could NEVER be possible because no one was ever vulnerable enough to allow people to see the real person they are.  I was guilty as charged.

But retreating caused as much personal damage as altering my behavior in order to gain acceptance.  My soul knew it wasn’t right, and oh boy did it tell me.  Anxiety, depression, anger and major weight gain were a few of the things my body threw at me in retaliation for my actions.   I had gone from one extreme to the next.

I now believe in connection, knowing that once connection is made, acceptance will be effortless.  It just happens.

Our TRIBE is the WORLD.  That makes possibilities endless.  For me, that’s a pretty uplifting thought.

I also see it as acceptance in it’s purest form.  It’s internal.  Understanding that there are many levels of connection, everything from eye contact and a smile, to shared drive on a mission to change the world and they all have their place and should be cherished.  They are all necessary.

No matter your, beliefs, race, social status, spirituality, or cognition level, I believe I can find connection with anyone if I’m willing to show myself unfiltered and pure.  Not as easy as it sounds, but hell…. I already tried two other ways that didn’t work.  Whats the worst that can happen?

Who knows, it may start with eye contact and a smile and turn into an unstoppable team on a mission to better the world.  You’ll never know unless you make the effort, and being someone that notices things, I’ve noticed if you wait for someone else to smile first, you may wait a while.

So I’ll smile first 🙂 and see what connection the world (tribe) has to offer.

 

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