By: Dana Damara

I’ve been sitting with this idea all week long and it’s been a little challenging. You see, the idea of connection came to me when I sat at San Dominican University last weekend, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, to pay tribute to a special young man I had only just begun to know.

It boggled my mind that he felt disconnected enough to take his own life. It didn’t add up as I looked around the chapel of some 300 young people, all gathered in support of each other, crying and offering prayers to the family. It didn’t make sense to me at all. And it made me so very, very sad…for a really long time…on a really deep level.

It wasn’t like I knew him for a long time…I barely knew him at all, actually. But what I did know, I adored. His vibrancy and sweet hugs every single time we exchanged space was so special. I am lucky enough to meet so many people in my day-to-day and this one, this one I remembered. He had such a sweet disposition and would always have something kind to say.

You know…we can recite as many meditations as we want about how we are all connected. We can talk about how “going inward” is the way to connect. And how offering up a smile or hello to a stranger can make a huge difference in someone’s day or maybe even their life. But it really hits home when a friend or acquaintance takes their own life.

There’s a disconnect and it haunts me.

So here’s what I’m offering up. A deep turn of the heart toward connection.

Connect to your family—your kids, partner, siblings and parents.

Connect with a stranger, a neighbor, a friend.

Connect with nature.

Connect deeply with your lover.

Connect with your Divine Source.

We are here to connect…period. And it doesn’t happen through these little electronic devices that have become appendages, either. Connection isn’t through an electromagnetic field…emanating from your phone or the computer. That actually robs you of true connection.

Connection is from the heart.

It’s a look in the eyes.

It’s a hand on someone else’s heart or shoulder.

It’s listening intently while someone else talks.

It’s deep and it’s real and in this technological age, it’s harder to come by.

But you know what…there is nothing like it. And nothing you can tell me will make me change my mind…not one thing. I don’t care who you are…life is meant to be lived, and loved and adored through the eyes of our soul and the beating of hearts.

Please…however you do it, just do it. Put the phone down and look up. Look up at yourself in the mirror, at the stranger crossing the street, at the person bagging your groceries, at your children, at your life and at infinite space…it’s all up. Look up…

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