Over the past week I have continued to discuss the Connectedness Continuum with numerous friends and business associates. This all started with a hierarchy, then moved to a linear process and this week it has been transformed to concentric circles. I have also talked with friends about the terms we were using for the segments of the continuum and this week we made significant progress.
The Connectedness Continuum now consists of three concentric circles with the outer circle termed as Community, the middle ring defined as Roles and the inner ring of connectedness is Individual. Below is a simple version of the image:
The concept of Community is all about the connections we make as part of a community. We connect with others around sports, music, Facebook and other “surface” level connections that we all have as members of our local, national and global community. This level of connectedness provides some comfort but little sense of deep connection.
The second ring in the middle, the Role ring, refers to all of the roles we play in life. These could include being someone’s child, a parent, spouse, best friend or any other relationship to another person. These relationships can provide comfort and a feeling of connectedness deeper than community based connections. Even in painful relationships, the connection might be negative but it is still deeper and more connected than a fellow sports fan.
The inner ring is our relationship with ourselves, or our Individual connection. The more connected we are to ourselves the more connected we feel to everything. Our entire life improves when we are deeply connected to our own needs and our own purpose in life. I have come to believe that until we are in relationship with our individual, unique self we will struggle to connect with others. It almost seems like when we are not connected to ourselves our life depends on all external factors, the opinions of others and our community. In the end, the only opinion about us that matters is our relationship to ourselves.
So, that is my learning for the week.
‘Til next time ………