I have been meditating on the idea of interconnectedness. All of life is interdependent. There is interconnection on a macroscopic level as well as on the microscopic level. The earth is in fragile and delicate balance. All parts of an ecosystem work together in a balanced way in which one part of that system undoubtedly affects the other parts and the system as a whole. One part changes, even in a subtle way, and the system becomes dynamic.
The study of attachment and neurobiology also reveals this integral truth of life within the interconnectedness of human beings. We are wired to connect with one another and we undoubtedly affect one another. Interpersonal neurobiology tells us we actually regulate each others' internal biological states. Our brains and our biologies are interwoven. This reality is perhaps most apparent in the relationship between infant and caregiver. We know that a mother’s emotional state affects, and even reverberates through her infant and helps to regulate the infant’s emotional state. In turn, an infant affects her mother’s biology, and what results is a profoundly complex and beautiful dance.
What we think, feel, and do greatly impacts those around us, just as one aspect of an ecosystem sends ripples throughout the system at large and causes a change in the network of connections. We are only beginning to understand the depth to which we influence one another and are influenced by one and other. We are only beginning to understand the deep, biological, emotional, and energetic way in which we are interconnected and interdependent.
What does this mean for us? We are not isolated. Connection with others matters enormously. We have the power to influence our relationships and there is the power of change and healing available to us in relationships. People I work with, and myself included, often feel defeated and discouraged about their relationships because of course relationships are extremely challenging. Marriages, parent child relationships, sibling relationships, extended family, and friends. They are fraught with complication, pain, mistrust, discomfort, fear, aggression, and longing. We often feel powerless to affect change in relationship. We may even feel resigned and isolate ourselves from relationship due to past disappointment and hurt.
But the truth is that there is hope in embracing our interdependence with one another. What would it be like to live with reverence for our capacity to influence others and of those around us to offer us healing?