Last month, I wrote about how empty it can feel to hear people say "you are not alone" when no one is actually showing up in real life anymore, justifying the crazy-making and extremely damaging isolation that COVID made worse but has been there all along with "we can still stay connected through technology!" No, people. No we cannot. Yes, I realize I'm using technology to reach you - and I will continue to do so - but I do not for a second pretend that I an "connected" to you. I'm continuing to think about isolation, how deeply rooted it is, how so many of us name loneliness as one of our deepest pains yet don't do the things they would need to do to change their lonely states. It's all valid. And technology is not a sufficient replacement, for so. many. reasons.
The one I'll cover here is co-regulation. Nervous system co-regulation - what good mothers help their infants do and what all adults need to know how to do in order to have functional relationships and give their gifts to the world - CANNOT happen over Zoom. The calming effect we humans can have on each other, heart and brain coherence with one another and other physiological effects that we human beings NEED to get from other people CANNOT happen unless you are in person. The people who have appointed themselves humanity's handlers know this. That's why we're isolated. And we're just going along with it. I'm still planning on doing something about it (like I mentioned last month), but I have been battling serious depression and the trauma-based walls I've built up over the last three decades that have made it nearly impossible to ask for real help.
For now, what I want to share is a thought that recently occurred to me during a moment of frustration with yet another hard sell that included, "One of the main things you get is community!" The fact that this was a Christian group doing the selling made it all the more off-putting, but I would have had the problem either way. Selling community to a post-lockdown world is like selling water in a desert: cruel. (I know, I know, some of you probably thought "good business.") It feels unethical to me to monetize human connection (aka "community"), yet everyone's doing it. Perhaps this is one reason I struggle to come up with a good business model.
That, and I find so many ways to disqualify myself, I can only barely get started. Then, I can't finish anything and then I lose confidence in myself and then I'm afraid to start anything, I miss good opportunities and the cycle deepens. While many are making so much money online, I'm baffled by how to get those most basic things in life to work, it seems. I don't know how to be fruitful with my time or what people would want from me. I'm worried I'm missing something since it seems so much easier for others to find their people, create thriving businesses they love doing and build lives they're proud of. I periodically wonder if there is anything like that for me.
I'm not sharing any of this for pity. I'm sharing these things because a) I'm committed to honesty/no more inauthenticity (mostly because I have no more energy for it and it hasn't gotten me anything I've wanted in life anyway) and b) to hopefully help some of you feel less alone even as I know this is just an email, you can't even see my face or hear my voice (so yes, in some ways I'm being a hypocrite). I'm working on more formal structure around my offerings, which, I acknowledge, are a long time coming.