We long for it constantly: the need to feel loved, a hunger for another being to touch our deepest selves; a warm heart and a kind ear to release our selves to; a hug we can fall apart in; laughter we can feel rising from the veins of our skin; other humans we can share our darkest selves and feel safe with; the ability to feel free to live and create our lives the way we wished when we were children; to be extremely honest with ourselves and others and still share a love so fierce with passion.
I was drawn to an article about falling in love and how it took 36 Questions and 4 minutes of staring into another stranger’s eyes to fall in love. The article went viral of course and I studied how people reacted to it. I was amused by how people treated this “breakthrough study”. Some understood the underlying reason for it, but other publications I read wrote about it as if it were something so completely unheard of. Human vulnerability? Having a conversation face to face, eye to eye? Sharing your story and self with another human? Unheard of–in the age of hyper-connectivity and artificial semi-connectedness, that is. It blows me away how we’ve conditioned ourselves to live in a world where human connection, and I mean real human connection, is now a scarcity that we’ve built ways to commodify it through Tindr, OkCupid, Match.com, EHarmon(e)y, etc. Now more than ever, you will most likely hear, “We met online”, “Our first date was through Tindr”, “We just hit it off on EHarmoney”, “I couldn’t believe I found the one”. Now, some connections made through these sites can actually become something really awesome, but I find that to be rare. Have we really reduced love to mere exchanges on Tindr? Yes, we have.
To have love and feel love, you need to have connection. Connection with one’s inner self and true sensory and temporal connection with another human being. You no doubt try to stay “connected” when physical distance keeps you and your loved ones apart so you use the phone, text, Facebook, email, and that’s important. But your body–your human, carnal body and raw (soul) self, sculpted by the forces of natural selection over millennia, was not designed for the abstractions of long-distance love, the “xoxos” or “lols”, no.
Your body and your soul hunger for more. You hunger to feel wild and beautiful with someone. You hunger to feel safe and free with someone. You hunger to feel and share an experience so moving that all the layers of you, unravel.
There is a carnal presence that exists in us, and it’s found in all the hungers that we crave to express and feel. We crave to feel connected, yet we fear sharing our honest selves with people and strangers. We crave to feel understood and comforted, yet we fear the embarrassment and humiliation we might get for feeling what we do. We crave to fall in love and find a partner who will run wild with us, yet we fear facing how to love and explore the depths of ourselves. We crave to follow our dreams and passions, yet we cower at the thought of criticism.
One of the scariest things that could happen to humanity, is the loss and scarcity of what it means to feel a real human connection. We are already experiencing this now. We get a little anxious when we receive a phone call instead of a text. We get a little surprised when a stranger tells us a story on the morning commute to work. We hurry into relationships and expect instant growth and years of love jam-packed in a few months, and feel heartbroken that it didn’t unfold fast enough. We’ve forgotten that things that are worth growing, take time and require our patience and full awareness–our full carnal presence–to create the rooted connections we want. To bear fruit on any tree, you must water it. You must frequent it with your presence and nurture it. To strengthen and expand the deep rooted connections with yourself and others, you must show up and care to bare your soul and real-time presence to the effort of growth, however much it hurts. The amount of love and connection you feel and receive depend on the frequency of your carnal presence with yourself and others. Are you extremely honest and wholehearted about what exists in your mind–the thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, the whole thing that adds up to what we call “me” or “I”? No one else can really sort out what opens up your world or what seems to keep you going in circles in some kind of repetitive misery but you. Choose to be a better human. Allow the presence of your true self to shake and settle in your skin.
You can choose to live a life fearful of your carnal presence and all that is underneath your skin or you can choose to live a life that is wholly you, wholly everything that you feel inside your heart and soul. You can choose to surround yourself around artificial semi-connectedness, or you can get outside and explore, say “hello”, start a conversation, tell a story about something you’ve experienced, look into another person’s eyes and laugh together, share a time where you were sad and lonely with a complete stranger, and maybe, just maybe, spark a mutual shared sense of deep aliveness and attention to the world.
I ask you please, do not be afraid to pour yourself, and express with paramount, your wholeness, your rawness, your vulnerability, your soul’s longing to be human in our artificially connected world, your fearless yet compassionate carnal presence.
I would not ever wish for this world, after we are long gone, to look at love as a myth or real human connection as an archaic thing humans no longer need. When you are aware of yourself and who you are, and you follow your heart and intention, you give this world and the rest of humanity another chance to make things better. You give the world and yourself growth to cultivate real human connections and real presence. When you show unwavering kindness to others and are honest to the core, you give others an opportunity to feel what hope and love are like. Please, I ask you, don’t be afraid to live your human self on a deeper level. Go deeper into yourself and discover that darkness, that lightness, the things that burn, burn, burn you to the ground like ashes and lift you like smoke. Pay close attention to what you choose to be aware of in this world and what you are aware of about yourself.
I hope that someday, you’ll understand that the only thing worth earning, growing, and experiencing is a life filled with real moments of human connection with yourself and with others. Underneath it all, we long to feel the nature and force of our carnal presence, loved and protected by another soul brave enough to share theirs. Understand yourself underneath it all, and be aware. Create a kind of awareness to yourself and the world that opens the hearts and minds of others to this awareness, but most of all, project a kind of feeling that awakens the consciousness of other souls longing to understand and feel this human life.