The earliest memories I have are family life and church, the two inexplicably woven together like a rich tapestry of love and a deep sense of belonging. Life appeared so much more simple back in the late 50’s and early 1960’s looking back from the world that I now live in, but of course it was just different.
As I get older, I find myself looking back and longing for the simplicity of my early life, stretching right up into the 1980’s and my own children’s early childhood. Life before mobile phones, computers, and of course the internet which have all given so much on one hand and taken away even more on the other. For me it has made it possible to live our lives much more on our own, even when we are with other people. The lure to pick up our smart phone and enter another world while missing the one we live in, watching other people experiencing life and family and fun while we sit staring at the screen, disconnected from the people we are sat around a table sharing a meal with.
My feeling is that what we are missing in today’s world is true human connection, even the difference between writing an email to writing a letter for which there was so much more human cost involved and so much more of our own humanity expressed, ink onto paper with no spell check, carefully forming each word both in my heart and on the paper. I used to love to get a real handwritten letter, although sometimes they carried such pain. After my mum died, my stepdad handed me a letter that had been written to me many years before from a girlfriend of mine, that my mum had hidden from me. With shaking hands, I read the words that had been penned to me all those years ago, her expression of love and desperation that hung heavily in every sentence spoke to my heart and cut me to the core. What could she of thought of me and my silence, did I break her heart in my silence? I wonder how would of life been like if I had seen the letter at the time, where would of I been now?
At the time they often can seem like a small and insignificant moment, but can be life changing, for me there seem to of been many of these moments where a slight touch of the rudder of life has sent this life in a new direction.
In those early days, growing up in Ton Pentre, the steep sides of the valley looming over every moment of our lives, in the seeming innocence of life in those days, life seemed much less insular, with the combination of life in a large family and life in a close-knit church family.
One of the things I find interesting is how our lives and connections have changed over the last 18 months within all the restrictions we have had to endure. The growth of platforms like zoom has grown seemingly without limit, in my experience at any rate people have grown very comfortable taking into a screen, even in the deep personnel therapy sessions. Many of us therapists have found we can be seemingly just as affective as meeting face to face.
One of the many problems we find ourselves faced with in this new world order that we find ourselves living in, is in my mind how is easy it can be to forget how to fully connect with others.
We live in atmosphere of fear, distrust and even hate, where families are torn apart by differences of opinion, where society is becoming those who have, and those who have not!
True freedom comes to use all when we understand that each person that makes up this world we live in, has a right to make choices for themselves, where love honour and respect stands head and shoulders above our opinions.
We need more connection, face to face, touch to touch, we need to relearn the trust required to give a real deep hug, where the underlying heart is to love without judgement.
I love the word Grace, it is a word that is so laden with meaning, the best definition I’ve ever heard is “there is nothing you can do or say to make me love you more or less” I want to live in a world where that becomes the heart of all humanity.