In Part I, I spent the whole article laying out a sociological problem having to do with the apparent “hidden war between the sexes,” including the difficulty men and women are having initially connecting with each other.
But, if you didn’t catch my last blog, here’s a brief recap.
A brief recap:
I began by listing a series of pretty hard-hitting statements that I had heard from friends and clients that originally alerted me to the issue.
“I just can’t seem to meet a quality person anywhere. They’re all a bunch of immature jerks.”
“I’ve been doing online dating for two years now, and I’m ready to quit the whole damn thing.”
“Where can I go to meet someone? Bars? I never go to bars. I don’t want to meet someone with a drinking problem!”
“She says she wants a relationship, and then suddenly backs off. I thought she liked me!”
“Guys only want sex.”
“Women are all neurotic bitches!”
“I don’t trust men.”
“I’m so frustrated and fed up, that I’ll probably be single the rest of my life.”
Needless to say, these volatile statements really got me thinking…
Then I talked about the “problem” having something to do with the current world we live in, a sign of the times. I postulated that life, in general, used to be less complicated, when people seemed to connect, without all of today’s dating uncertainty and divisive game playing.
I brought today’s tough economics into the discussion by surmising that more love connections would materialize from individuals pooling their financial resources. It seems, instead, that more people are pulling away from each other, precisely due to financial necessity and economic survival.
I also wrote about the distrust created by our government “servants” who tragically, routinely, traffic in self-serving interests.
This led me to my mini-treatise on our “narcissistic society,” where so many people seem to be out for themselves, with fits of self-entitlement and those self-absorbed mantras, “I want,” “me, me, me” “I, I, I.”
But I wasn’t about to leave personal trauma and abuse out of the picture. God knows how many people have shied away from the possibility of love due to past pain and suffering, especially sexual abuse.
So I think I did an adequate job in laying out the problem of this alleged trend of mass-disconnection, and the resulting war between the sexes.
Okay, we see the problem, even some of the causes.
But what about the solution?
How can people better connect in this increasingly complicated and alienated society of ours? I mean, we can’t go back to “how it was,” right?
So we have to figure out a new way, a new paradigm of authentic social connection that can hopefully transcend all obstacles, and lead to more meaningful and loving unions.
The New Paradigm
This new paradigm of connection has a lot to do with proactive changes we can make on our own, where we don’t rely or wait for others to do it for us.
After all, at the end of the day, it’s up to us.
Here’s a brief outline of the solution, this New Paradigm that will, hopefully, work to bring people closer to each other:
Practice compassion with all beings – including yourself. Compassion is a state of mind that truly honors one’s right to exist. It’s a positive perspective that elevates souls and acknowledges the shared difficulties and challenges inherent to the human condition. And that goes for all beings.
Want to connect with others in the deepest possible way? Practice compassion.
Cultivate gratitude. The 12-Steppers often talk about an “attitude of gratitude.” When you make thankfulness a big part of your life, you tend to effortlessly spread this upbeat idea around; it becomes contagious.
The result? More people will be attracted to you, and voila, new connections are born.
And another cool thing about adopting an attitude of gratitude in your daily life?
It’ll make you feel good right down to the cellular level. Your brain chemistry will actually change to the point where things like anxiety and depression will virtually disappear from your psyche!
When gratitude takes over, there’s no room left for negativity and alienation.
Work through the trauma. There’s nothing like a lingering, unresolved trauma to keep people away from each other (or slap them together for all the wrong reasons).
Unresolved issues from the past almost always block intimacy, guarantee unhealthy alliances, and create distressing breakups. (Just look at the high divorce rate.)
So, it’s absolutely vital that individuals work through any personal traumas, including past emotional, sexual, or physical abuse.
And the way we work through it all? By moving through the pain of the past, by first acknowledging it, clearing it, and finally moving on. Honoring and taking care of ourselves is critical to this process.
Be of service to others. There’s nothing that pulls people together like random acts of service to others. It’s sad how so many of us think that we have to be a big-time performer, vaunted sports star, corporate CEO, or influential guru, to truly effect any change in the world.
Years ago, I learned a great lesson about life purpose and being of service to others. It’s called “tikkun ha olam” in Hebrew, or “redemption of the world.” It’s all about doing your part, big or small, to repair this broken world. With just a smile or one good act of compassion, we can move mountains.
Moreover, if we can only keep our self-serving egos out the way and be more of a giver than a taker, then the world will become a better place. And when the world’s a better place, we can openly connect with each other, without ego, fear, or mistrust – we love more freely.
Take each new person just as they are. It’s so important to see a new person in your life, as just that, a new person and a brand new experience. And it’s no easy thing to set aside worn out judgments and past stormy relationships, as you enter into this new experience.
See the other person for the unique person they really are, not the person or a situation that reminds you of a turbulent past that needs immediate resolution.
There’s a psychological phenomenon called “Repetition Compulsion”: It’s about the need to fix a personal issue or past hurt by repeating the same timeworn behavior, in an effort to resolve the old trauma. This type of action, often unconscious, doesn’t work, and you end up losing any realistic understanding of a potential partner.
When one has a clearer sense of the other’s true essence, their true nature – then intimate connection becomes possible.
Stop worshiping the almighty dollar. The antidote to the wanton worship of all things unnecessary, like the insatiable acquisition of money, is learning to appreciate the simple enjoyments of life, those things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with buying power or “keeping up with the Jones’.”
A leisurely walk in the woods, rejuvenating sleep, and good company, go a long way to enrich the soul and keep unhealthy attachments (like addiction), at bay.
The ability to keep it simple and to appreciate the more subtle elements of living, help to ensure less attachment to things and more authentic connection to people.
Vote! Now, allow me to get a “tad” political here. If you’re unhappy with the current leadership, vote them out of office! Use your vote to elect people with integrity, compassion, and empathy for all types of people. Don’t let anyone, especially the self-serving politicians, ever cramp your lifestyle!
If you want meaningful connections in your life, choose leaders that model what you’d most like to see in yourself and others.
Risk love – despite the finances. Take the risk of love, regardless of your particular financial situation.
Don’t let finances keep you alone and alienated. You can still reach out, not only for assistance, and comforting friendships, but for true supportive partnerships – even the romantic ones.
You can successfully surmount your fears and courageously take a chance on new love – no matter what.
Embrace that the world as it is. The world is always changing, for better or for worse. Accept that the world is a more complicated place these days, but refuse to succumb to all the unhealthy and spiritually bankrupting social pressure to conform.
If the need arises, boldly re-vamp your lifestyle, and dare to follow your gut, despite the prevailing trends. Unabashedly follow the beat of your own drummer, and trust yourself to know the way you’d like to be in the world.
When you’re truly living the life you want to live, you’re more likely to meet another who’s living the life that they want – and that usually sets the stage for future relationship success. Now, that’s real connection!
Forgive, forgive, forgive. The 17th Century French nobleman and essayist, Francois de La Rochefoucauld, once remarked: “One forgives to the degree that one loves.” The act of forgiving is a loving act. To have a forgiving nature, is a virtue, and will usually not go unnoticed by others.
When we forgive, we love more. And when we love more, we tend to attract and invite romance into our lives with open arms and hopeful minds – we connect.
The solution is the connection. So, the solution to this apparent lack of connection, this crazy war between the sexes, is the loving actions we willingly take to better ourselves, serve others, and by staying open to true intimacy.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the healing power of connection itself.
If we can get more and more people to opt-in to this new paradigm of connection, then Planet Earth will finally experience a true peace – and love between people will surely flourish.
*If you have ideas or solutions to this problem of the disconnection in our time, this unfortunate war between the sexes, I’d like to hear from you! Please leave your remarks in the comments section below. Your contribution is greatly appreciated!