“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued- when they can give and receive without judgement.” – Brene Brown
In her work, Brene Brown constantly reinforces that we are wired for connection. I think the majority of us can agree with that. Yes, of course we want to feel connection and we want relationships. But then what happens when we have spent hours cleaning the house and we walk into our child’s bedroom to find an explosion of toys? We react and yell. It’s not just me, right?
Or, what happens when we make have a long day and our partner comes home and crashes on the couch as we clean up from dinner and think about the million things that need to be done this evening? We close cabinets a bit too hard and grunt “nothing”when asked what’s wrong.
We tally who does what in our relationship with our partners. We check the calendar to see how long it’s been since we called our grandparents or begrudgingly attend Sunday dinner at our parents’ house. I get a “ladies night out” because he got several “guys night outs” since my last one. We yell at the kids because they made a mess as they cracked the eggs and a moment later tell them to turn to the camera so we can post the picture on social media of the grand ol’ time we are having making cookies. We argue about whether or not to buy new clothes for the pictures.
We do all of this for perfection- the clean, beautifully decorated house; the homework that is neatly done and the test that is studied for well enough; the well balanced, homemade dinner to which brings the whole family around the table at the same time, the monthly date nights (to which we argue about whether or not to spend more money on the private lessons but take a beautiful picture of beers and a cheers to date night).
We strive for perfection but at what expense? We got beautiful holiday pictures but we barely talk on the way home because wife is mad at husband for answering a phone call rather than helping to get baby to smile and husband is mad that they spent $300 on a 30 minute photo session.
I found myself lying in bed one night, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, because transitions tend to bring that up for me. I pulled out my journal and began to write because I know that it helps me. It is a little comical because I don’t put a light on and I don’t put my glasses on. I write blindly when I find myself awake at an odd time of the morning and I know that simply writing what I am thinking will help me to get back to sleep. I asked myself if this transition is causing extra stress on my children because I am behind on laundry and the house is messy because I haven’t had time to clean it. Are you my 5 and 8 year old really burdened because my laundry is piled up? Probably not, unless you consider that my 5 year old really wants to wear the one pair of Paw Patrol pajamas every night but I don’t consider that a burden.
Think of those significant people in your life and the times where there is a clear disconnect. Is the disconnect or conflict there because I want things to be perfect or a certain way and it’s causing extra stress? Are there certain expectations that you have of yourself, you have of others or that others have from you that are creating feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, angry, resentful? Is your feelings of not being enough- not a good enough parent, partner, friend, daughter, son the real problem or is it that something outside of you is the trigger?
We are wired to feel connected but we will never reach perfection. And anyway, who can relate to the “perfect” person?