Our connections with one another are all that matter. When everything is stripped away, what will be left is your essence and my essence (who we are) and the connection our essences can have – on the soul level. There are so many things in this life which present barriers to our souls connecting: our defenses that keep us from having intimacy, our covetousness, our hatred, our possessions, even the physical barriers of skin and geographical location. And yet, there are moments in this life when we connect with each other on this deep level. It is very satisfying and can even give us the feeling of ecstasy on a momentary basis. Those are the moments I (and likely you) cherish. They are windows into the next life.
To truly be in relationship is a difficult thing. Our greatest desire is to be connected and intimate with someone and so, consequently, our greatest fear is that will not happen. This fear plays out in the many ways we throw up defenses that prevent intimacy from occurring. Why do we do that? Because we are afraid of rejection, abandonment, not getting the relationship we desire. Even when we have what seems like opportunity for intimacy, we protect ourselves from it to avoid risk. The risk is requisite to trust. Even in what we would call close relationships with trusted people, we activate defenses which prevent us from connecting.
At each moment, we are making a decision to either be in relationship or not. This could be called “turning toward” or “turning away”. Even if we make a decision to be in solitude, we can do so with deeper connection in mind, or to avoid connection and truly be alone. Furthermore, even if we choose to be near others, this does not necessarily mean we do so with deeper connection in mind. Sometimes, we choose to be with others in a way that breeds loneliness. In that case, maybe we are just using others to avoid real intimacy which could be better achieved in solitude.