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Has anyone else noticed what we've found ourselves missing most during the pandemic? Has it hit you yet that the things that we seem to be missing most aren't material? They, at least in my circles, seem to either be connection or experience-oriented.

I'm kind of a homebody personally so not being able to go out to eat or to a bar for a while didn't bother me. Most of the things I do are outdoor activities so things didn't really change for me in that respect. However, I love live music and I'm going to need to see a show sooner than later! I was able to scratch that itch last month at a karaoke bar in Little Rock. Don't judge! We couldn't dance, but we sure could sing along at the top of our lungs!

The other thing we're missing is connection. We were already living in a society that interacted with each other through the use of screens. But the difference was that we chose to interact through screens. When we lost the ability to connect with others on a face to face level, it left a lot of us feeling bereft. Folks that are married or have families were able to have in-person interaction, but what about singles or folks that live alone? If you're like me, you were left feeling pretty isolated at times. No matter what we try to say, we NEED other people.

We're meant to be around other people. Humans are ultra-social beings. That's the way we're wired. That just might explain why we see so many people displaying what others consider 'unsafe' behavior right now. In fact, I found an interesting quote from Psychology Today that shed some light on the situation for me:

Humans, because of necessity, evolved into social beings. Dependence on and cooperation with each other enhanced our ability to survive under harsh environmental circumstances. Although the survival threats of these circumstances have lessened in today's world, people continue to have a need to affiliate with others. Indeed, the lack of such connections can lead to many problems, including loneliness.

This explains so much! Our need for others is so ingrained, it's a core human need. In an article from Contact Mapping, they say, 'A real, genuine human relationship has the power to heal the traumas of everyday disingenuous, loneliness, and isolation. It is the experience of “oneness” by having shared experiences, relatable feelings, and other similar ideas. It’s something we naturally gravitate towards and seek out, being intensely social beings. In the process of restoring a connection with others, we realize that we’re actually creating a connection with ourselves. By being seen and loved for who we are, how we think, and what we feel, we learn it’s okay to be as we are.'

Okay, so somewhere along the line, we lost part of the art of meaningful communication, the kind of interaction that allows for feeling the connection described above. Isn't it time we worked on building this skill again? I'm thinking the pandemic may have been our sign.

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