Behind the mask
Authentically connecting with others occurs when we feel safe enough to do so, and it certainly becomes a risk to be vulnerable.
We may develop personas or masks or other forms of defense about anyone actually seeing us and connecting. But, that is what we want and desire, to feel loved, and that loving connection, on a basic human level.
Here are wise words from an actor who grew up over twelve years portraying his character, both on screen and off. The words which follow his video are from author Isabel Faith Abbott, and recount her beautiful experiences in connecting with others in such an authentic way.
Isabel Faith Abbott
(Facebook timeline posting, November 2, 2016):
"I spent four hours at the airport today. There were raging storms outside and everything grounded; no taking flight. There was nowhere to go so we were just here.
I was met so completely by one who loves me and cracked open in a way unanticipated. I watched as all these humans who do not know one another gathered close to pass time and crowd toward screens to watch the World Series. I sat in the chapel with one other person and I cried and cried. For all the reasons. The most heartbreaking intimacy and privacy, to be alone together, while below we could hear the cheers from a team beating the odds. Airports are one of my favorite places. As they are a space between. No one at home so everyone belonging.
I don't know how any of us make it through really. It is all so strange to me, and beautiful. How terribly difficult it is. How we need each other. To connect. Only connect. Not promises or platitudes. Just these human bodies who in this night happened to collide here together, lines intersecting into unexpected angles.
As there was lots of time, I did what I sometimes do with an extra hour in public space. I set out a sign: 'Separate and Together. Be seen, no words needed, four minutes of uninterrupted eye contact, (because we are both human and it helps something real to only connect)'. And I sat there, no real need or agenda.
And what happened, as is often the case, fed me and delighted me and held out a hand of what is possible when we don't try to figure anything out and just stay in the strange mystery of all of us here in this space on an unexpectedly warm night in November. I sat and wordlessly looked into the eyes of many different humans. They would come up and usually laugh uncomfortably and then sit down and I would set a timer. How vulnerable and unfinished and lost we are, how afraid and complicated and beautiful. We laughed. We cried. We said not a thing and instead lived in that place where no one knows what comes next. It is quiet and real and magnificent.
Tonight was a really good night to be here alive, human, paused in the passing through."
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Mark Newlon, feeling the embrace of the sacred feminine daily!
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