Connection is our healthy, natural state of being. When things become disconnected, they break down, and become a source of illness instead of health. You can see this basic concept play out in our bodies, our relationships, and our own minds. We are meant to replicate, not deteriorate. Cells replicate to form babies. Families replicate legacy. Individually, we replicate what we learn. On the other hand, bodies deteriorate as we age; families deteriorate with divorce or abuse; we deteriorate when we disconnect from others and are the only source of our own inspiration and ‘air.’ What are you talking about, Cathryn? Hang on…I’m almost there. I will give you several different examples of how this concept plays out.
Connection to survive: Humans are pack animals. We are meant to run together. When one falls away from the pack, you know what happens. It’s the first to get picked off by a predator. There’s strength in numbers, and that’s why your mom told you to stay close to your friends when you’re outside playing, and your dad told you not to go out late at night by yourself.
Physical safety is one thing, but what about psychological safety? One key sign of depression is isolation. Depression and isolation go hand in hand; isolation can lead to depression and depressed people isolate from others. Whenever you isolate, you starve yourself of intimacy, inspiration, and perspective. The brain craves to interact with other brains. It’s the most complex organ we have, and it’s telling us that what it needs is interactions with others!
Read more about this topic here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hyperscans-show-how-brains-sync-as-people-interact/ We learned that physical contact and connection is vital to life after a significantly high percentage of babies in orphanages (one-third of them according to one study) stopped growing and died due to a lack of physical affection and emotional connection. Failure to Thrive is now a blanket term that encompasses more than just death from lack of touch and persistent neglect, but if you’d like to read more, here’s a source for you: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/06/neglect And if you’re still not convinced of the importance of human contact, continue reading here: https://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/capsules/histoire_bleu06.html
Connection to thrive: Ok, so perhaps you managed to stay alive with little human connection, and if that’s you, congratulations! You’re a survivor. But have you found meaning in life? I have yet to sit and talk with someone who does not have a significant attachment or connection with someone else AND still maintains a sense of meaning. Why? Because we are social creatures. Why do you think grief hits us so hard? Where you love deeply, you grieve deeply. Others give us meaning and inspiration. When you fall in love, the world seems happier and safer. When you have a baby, you somehow feel like you’re now on a mission to make it a better place for them to live. There’s grief when children leave home and parents cope with empty nest; there’s grief when a relationship falls apart; and there’s grief when people die. People help us cope through hard times, inspire us to create something that will last beyond ourselves, and help us create memories that can send us into a laughing fit long after that time has passed. And people help us understand the Love that put us here in the first place.
Connection to understand: Meaning and purpose is the name of my game and I am unapologetic about my stance that one of the reasons we were put here on this earth is to connect with God, ourselves, and each other. Our identity was created for us and it is not one that we can create ourselves. You cannot reject who you are (deteriorate your identity) and expect whatever you put in its place to work as well, or as healthily, as the original design. Likewise, we were created with a specific purpose that God Himself designed for us to carry out. There are three questions you need to know the answers to: 1. Who are you? 2. Where are you going? And 3. How are you going to get there? Connecting with yourself, God, and others will help answer those questions. (And so can I…if you’re interested, contact me about life coaching.)
Remember earlier when I mentioned health is when we replicate and not deteriorate? Sometimes this is an obvious concept to grasp; it’s healthier to build someone up than to tear them down. It’s healthier to create a team than to destroy one. It’s healthier to plant some trees than to bulldoze a forest. And your body’s response to a foreign threat is to replicate white blood cells to fight it off. Now let’s dig deeper. Sometimes, people who don’t understand their own identity, project that onto us; and they desire for us to fulfill the dreams they had for themselves that they let die. This not only deteriorates their purpose or legacy; it actually has the power to destroy ours if we follow suit. You see, you cannot destroy something healthy and replace it with something diseased and expect it to thrive. If you’re waiting on a heart transplant, you’re hoping for a healthier heart, not a sicker one. Therefore, you cannot live someone else’s life or be the piece that completes them. You are already complete and discovering who you are and what you were created to do, makes all the difference in whether you believe that or not.
Connection with others gives us a glimpse of what love is. That’s why sometimes, we struggle to understand God’s love, when our connections with others are so unhealthy. For many, having children helps them understand the love of a parent, and then they can start to grasp the love God has for them. Connecting to others also offers us other perspectives to explore about life. When you are isolated and left alone with your own thoughts, you are susceptible to creating cognitive distortions (distorted, non-rational ways of thinking) and not even recognize it. Your own thoughts, without any sort of outside influence or filters, is like breathing in recycled air on an airplane; it doesn’t become healthier, but rather, it becomes more toxic.
Asatti means connection. It is upon this philosophy that this company was created in order to address the disconnect that we all suffer from, in one form or another…to help reconnect people with themselves (their identity), with God (and their purpose), and with others (who help us get to where we’re going).