Do you notice the gaps in connection between people these days? It’s unsettling to see families sitting around tables in restaurants all glued to their individual phones, faces glowing, time passing as they miss opportunities to know one another. The space between them grows!
Doctors discovered some time ago the necessity for connection through touch for premature babies. Purposing to touch their small heads, hands, feet, rubbing and cuddling, talking, singing, engaging with them decreased mortality rates of these infants. People need connection. Yet, we are a society that is increasingly more connected through “distance.” We find it easier to connect through social media, emails and such, rather than genuine one-on-one interaction.
We recently took a family skip trip to northern New Mexico, it was our best vacation to date. That’s a big statement! But it honestly was for this reason – the connection we experienced. The ski lifts close at 4pm and with no internet connection or cable television in this remote area we were forced to connect, to entertain one another through conversation and playing games. We laughed more and enjoyed each other more than we had in years. It took time to adjust and connect in this way and it wasn’t comfortable at first, but as we settled into what was, something changed. Time seemed to slow down, conversation picked up and connections sparked. We closed the gap of the space between us!
Closing the gaps:
1. Notice that there is space between you and those you love; you can’t change anything you deny or refuse to see.
2. Purpose to get off the phone, turn off computers, log out of social media and seek the stimulation of connection.
3. Gather around the kitchen table, be in the same room, and let that energy awaken your senses.
4. Be creative and intentional to connect with those gathered around the table.
Some creative, intentional ideas: Play board games – Scene It, Scattergories, Apples to Apples. Play cards -UNO, Skipbo, Spades. Ask questions like, “What was your high/low of your day? Would you rather never wear a shirt again or have pinkies for thumbs? –anything to get you talking and laughing together. Make something together- chocolate chip cookies, a bookshelf, artwork. Plant an herb garden, play volleyball, bless a neighbor, paint a room, picnic, watch old family videos, read out loud. The purpose isn’t the activity – it’s the interaction. Focus on connecting with one another and closing the gap between yourself and others!