LOST CONNECTIONS: LOOKING BACK AND LETTING GO
Sometimes it seems impossible to let go of significant relationships from our past. While contact may have ceased with an old lover or friend, we continue to stalk them on social media. Our minds are filled with memories of togetherness. We imagine lives where we are attached. What is it about these lost connections that make it so hard for us to disconnect?
Connect with me
The need for human connection is universal. We need and depend on each other for us to be able to become ourselves. Every day we are surrounded by people. We can share in the lives of other people through their status updates, posts and blogs. Yet, real connection is often lacking in our day-to-day experiences. Trying to establish a new authentic connection is really hard at times. In the absence of connection, we feel lonely, isolated and unaccepted. Unexpectedly, we recall a connection from our past and our degree of current loneliness and isolation is highlighted. It seems like the intensity of feelings that follow this memory is often relative to our degree of current loneliness and isolation.
Online lost connections
Social media can create the opportunity for us to connect. It also helps us overcome our loneliness and isolation through seeking out connections. We can obtain this connection in two ways: by having connections or being connected. Social media can help us to have connections as it provides the opportunity to acquire or possess people as connections. Also, social media allows us to be connected through the experience of exchanging, engaging, and sharing with other people. Consequently, social media becomes the ultimate defence against isolation.
Finding a lost connection
It would seem that there is more to social media than just defending against loneliness. The hope of trying to reconnect with someone from a past moment or era could be something more. Maybe it is the desire to go back in time and recapture a missed opportunity. Perhaps we believe that there is one important relationship that can change the course of our lives. Maybe for some relationships time does not exist and it can overcome all odds.
Reconnecting with a lost connection
What follows finding a lost connection may be a desire to reconnect. To seek out love requires courage. Courage to jump into the void and to stake everything on the value of connection. This connection probably comes with approval, protection and admiration from another person. What we seek may not only be love or connection. What we also deeply desire is social acceptance that comes from being in a relationship or having someone love us.
However, the desire to reconnect may be driven by a feeling that has no connection to judgement and decision. As a result, the feeling may cease just as fleetingly as it arrived. When feelings are involved, we tend to not see people with objectivity. Rather, we remember them as we want to see them. This is often through the lens of our own interests, fantasies and needs. The difference between my picture of a person and that person’s reality is often so distorted that it leads to mismatched expectations and disappointment. Consequently, we need to separate this objective picture from the picture which is formed by our own desires and fears for a relationship to work. Thus, the magical element and fantasy of reconnecting with a lost lover or friend cannot translate into relationship longevity without practice, knowledge and effort.
Reconnecting with me
The person we desire to reconnect with can tell us something about ourselves. What did that person make us feel in that moment? What possibilities for our future were opened? The desire to reconnect with them is an attempt to reconnect with lost parts of ourselves. These parts we may have lost over time or through our experiences. Perhaps the connection we should be seeking with such desperate pursuit is the missed connections with ourselves.