The biggest rewards and lessons in life, along with opportunities, certainly are in connecting with others. There are times we feel things are moving along nicely and we’re having success in life until overcoming adversity hits us in the face.
A certain link with people helps heal.
Great relationships are not special, rather connecting with others is blessed, or as A Course in Miracles says, it’s a “Holy Relationship”, and it’s where we are called to see giving and receiving as two different aspects of the same, one thought.
While in prison and just barely turning fifty, and still not over my fall in that foolish securities violation, I cannot describe the feeling when one sees one’s name on the daily incoming mail list.
For me it’s a sense of being in touch with freedom.
Even a short note from a family member or an old friend who hasn’t forgotten you; connecting with others lends a sense of belonging.
To feel united is freedom
Mail call becomes an exciting part of a routine day, and is why the weekends and holidays with no mail service can seem so dismal.
Unless you’ve been in prison, you can never begin to understand the impact of a single piece of mail.
On a particular day when I needed it most, my name appeared on the mail list at the guard’s desk. As I squeezed my way through the crowd of smelly armpits and bulging tattoos, the guard already had his arm stretched out with a letter in his hand for me to grab.
I didn’t recognize the return address, but did notice immediately it was from California.
The letter was from my long-ago, but not forgotten, Florida golf buddy Jon Phillips, and it was plain to see he was now living in the Sonoma Valley.
I’d discussed in a previous blog article how years ago when were both in Florida, He had plans to relocate to the wine country, “God’s Country.”
His custom return address label displayed decorative grapevines surrounding his name and address.
A Course in Miracles states, “The holy relationship, a major step toward the perception of the real world, is learned…A situation is a relationship, being the joining of thoughts.”
I was emotionally lit up with elation as I quickly counted backwards in my brain to realize that it must have been fifteen years since we’d last spoken or seen one another.
There he was, that sweet-swinging Jon, with me for the moment behind these block walls and steel bars.
I could see with excitement he had much to fill me in on.
I was already seeing him in my mind engaging with his usual eye contact.
He seemed to have a simple and strong way for connecting with others at a deep and brotherly level.
We’ve all heard it said, “The eyes are the passageway to the soul.”
Jon’s letter was several pages and again I could see that he had much to tell me!
Just by knowing him, I knew there had to be good things he wanted to share with me. I walked back to my bunk to savor his letter.
Suddenly the volume of chaotic noise around the prison house seemed to be nonexistent.
Jon’s letter described how his business, the communications company, was alive, doing well, and small-scale, just as he wanted it to be.
With minimal stress which he handled well, he had plenty of free time to play competitively in Northern California’s over-fifty senior amateur golf circuit.
He could delegate much of the headaches of his business to his office manager, a middle-aged recent widow who loved the challenge. Jon said he paid her well above average, and she was worth every penny.
He concluded by telling me that in the world today there seems to be far too much strain on being caught up in daily tasks, leading to burnout and fatigue than there is on connecting with others.
He said he had a great human connection with his office manager and trusted her to keep things running smoothly while he and his wife Becky enjoyed California—and, as first-time grandparents, their new granddaughter.
(Please note if you’re wanting more on this story, I suggest a related article on going for your goals and dreams.)
To human connection,
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