We constantly hear about the need for community, belonging, and support. Do we really give enough attention to the quality of those connections? I don't think so.
At birth, we're automatically provided with connections. Are they really the kinds of connections that we should keep for life? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
Most people rarely, if ever, question the connections they're handed. Many fumble through life believing that "don't burn your bridges" means that every single connection is to be treasured.
Being me, I began to question the value of that at a young age. There were connections I was given that weren't safe for me. Not all of those people were intentionally trying to hurt me or stunt my development. (Watch this video to learn more.) Some of them simply didn't encourage me to be my best.
I began to see life as a violent and deadly obstacle course, both emotionally and physically. How does that create a happy life?
Spoiler alert: It doesn't.
What do we do instead?
As individuals, we have this amazing capacity to edit our existence. While we cannot completely erase all of our connections, we can certainly edit them. We have the option to choose which connections we wish to fuel and which we choose to deactivate.
What kinds of connections do you want in your life? What do you have to offer them and what do you want to receive? This list is constantly being edited and rewritten. Yet, awareness of what's on our list is key to developing the connections that enrich the human experience and pruning those which do not.
There's one fundamental principle that needs to be embraced first. You have the right and the power to choose the connections in your life.
If you loved yourself like you love those most important to you, how would you choose to wield that power?