That connection I felt

Last night something woke me up. I realized it was some loud conversation right below my bedroom window. It seems in our apartment complex someone had a party and the guests were leaving. It was 2:30 a.m. and this group of people were not even trying to keep their voice down. They were saying goodbyes, they were making plans for the next gathering, chit-chatting, completely oblivious to the fact that it was late at night, that it was a residential complex and people are sleeping. My initial urge was to get up, walk in the balcony and sternly ask them to keep it down, reminding them the time of the night. And in most cases I would have done just that. But for some reason (may be because of the cold), last night I stayed in bed and tried to calm myself by actually listening to their conversation. Okay, I grant that these people are perhaps being inconsiderate right now, but how different they are actually from me? Turns out, not much. True, I can’t see myself making noise in the middle of the night like that but these people also are going about their lives, making plans with friends and family, urging people to visit again, accusing some others that they do not keep in touch often enough. The glimpses of their lives I could see (rather hear) is something so familiar, so wholesome, so lively, that it soothed me, it reassured me. It filled me with a sense of peace and love, with a sense of belonging. The thought came to me that I don’t need to be anywhere else right now, this is exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment, with this flow of life going on around me. The life that so many people have built on love, on companionship, on kindness, on eagerness to hold onto each other. I felt at peace with everything.

I wish I could write that I finally drifted back to sleep, my heart overflowing with love and gratitude but unfortunately that did not happen. I could not sleep at all afterwards and for the whole day at work today I was tired and miserable, could not concentrate at the task at hand.

But I wish to experience such moments again. When I am able to feel connected with everyone, when I am able to see how little difference is there between all of us….I wish I could put myself in this frame of mind more often. I wish I am able to do this when I feel angry at a driver who cuts be off in traffic, when I feel impatient with a colleague who complains about everything, when I feel annoyed with a stranger for taking enormous amount of time at the supermarket cash counter…i.e. in many situations in life when I feel “I deserve better than this” and hence immediately disconnect myself from the ‘living’ that is taking place around me. I wish I could fall back on this mindfulness, on this conscious choice of connected-ness at those moments.

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5 thoughts on “That connection I felt

  1. A practice each day and yet, over time this awareness becomes strong in us. Beautiful example of how it challenges us in day to day life and the choices we can make. 👏💕💚

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  2. I love that you were able to flip this around! I remember when my mom was dying, I would drive back and forth from my parents’ house where I was staying to the hospice. I’m sure I was slower than usual. I still appreciate the drivers who gave me the benefit of the doubt, and an an extra few seconds to recognize the light had turned green—versus those who honked and yelled. The former did what you did–connected to our shared humanity. Meant a lot.

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    1. Apologies for the delayed response. Last few days were too hectic for me.

      I thank you for sharing this experience. We don’t know what the other person is going through, and when are able to remember this absence of knowledge, we can at least try to show more grace. This not only helps that person, it also helps us. I have noticed whenever I am able to hold my instantaneous knee jerk reaction, and react in a more kind way, I personally feel happy and peaceful. It is really easy to roll down your window and shout at another driver, no credit there. But if we could just remember to show a little grace. May be with more practice, this can become our default reaction.

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