I was watching a documentary today about a 13 year old boy with down’s syndrome who was preparing for his Bar Mitzvah (basically a jewish right of passage for young men).
During the film, it always showed him hugging people, and holding people, and smiling at people.
He would sing a lot, as it later came out that his mom, who had died, taught him how to sing. But you could see, that every time he sang, he was somehow connected to her.
Everyone from his dad, to his siblings, to his friends, to his teachers, said that he was a special person; one who was connected with God and one that could connect with other people.
Even though he was facing so many hardships having down’s syndrome, he looked like he was one of the happiest people I’ve ever seen, and I think it’s because he knew how to connect to other people.
And not only did he connect with them, but he loved them, he lifted their spirits, and he made them smile.
For example, there was another girl with down’s syndrome at his Bar Mitzvah party, and he never met her prior to that day because it was a daughter of one of his dad’s friends.
After meeting her and only knowing her for ten minutes, he looked at her and said “you’re a really special person.”
Her whole face went blank, like she had never heard someone say that. And here , was this 13 year old boy, and he was able to enrich her life and make that connection with her that she will never forget.
Anyway, it made me think about connection, and how we as humans, long for it and need it so badly.
We long to connect to others, to connect to ourselves, to connect to a higher being, and we long to connect to love as a whole.
And if you really look at it, isn’t that why we turn to other sources of comfort in the first place? For some kind of connection?
That is why I turned to my eating disorder; to find a connection to something that I thought could bring me validation and happiness.
Being connected to Ed was like being locked in a prison, but, it was still a connection nonetheless…a connection that reassured me, pound and pound again, that would never be broken if I didn’t want it to be.
Of course, little did I know, that by staying so connected with Ed, I was disconnecting from the real love in my life, such as family and friends.
I can say now, that I have found connections outside of Ed; actually way stronger than Ed, with family and friends and new people.
Maybe all it takes is one of us opening our hearts to someone else and establishing that connection to keep them from searching for it elsewhere, like Ed.
I’m not sure where I am going with this post, but I guess I just want to say how important it is, at least in my life, to embrace those connections with other people; to embrace connecting with love, with care, and with warmth.
I just came home from having dinner with my aunt, uncle and cousin, and it was a true reminder of how good it feels to be physically connected with others, even if it’s just sharing a meal together.
I am hopeful that my days of finding connection through Ed are behind me , because the power of connecting with people who care about you , the power of connecting with yourself, and the power of connecting with the belief that something greater than you will always bring you out on top of any situation, is so much more powerful than any addiction could be.