I’ve been thinking about the idea of connection, how we are designed ideally to fit together with one another to build something better, like a great big community of legos. A friend of mine recently said that this time in life is about finding your people. Obviously, everyone is not for everyone and we are attracted to people who are like-minded, or with whom we share something in common, but that’s not the whole story. Sometimes our people challenge us, or motivate us to change. Your people can be defined by how much they make you want to be your best self.
Being one of ‘your people’ is not necessarily the same thing as being a friend, though it’s amazing when those roles intersect. As I move through life, I’ve made dear friends that have remained, and had dear friends fall away. At the same time, I sometimes connect with people I don’t know very well at all…I see a moment of kindness or passion or humor in them and feel like I’ve known them forever. Why does this happen? Are our souls on some kind of scavenger hunt-mission to discover connection? Maybe we find in them some piece of ourselves looking back at us.
I have gotten to the point where my soul recognizes my people pretty well. Some are family, some are friends, some are students, some go to my church, some I see all the time, some I rarely see. One of them, amazingly, is a dog. Some are quite old and some are very young. We may have lots in common or very little at all, but here’s how I know them: In an exchange with one of my people, I feel myself wake up and sense my breathing change. I may even audibly sigh. Looking into their eyes, even for just a moment, my heart feels at home. There is really nothing better than a lasting friendship with a person like that, but that’s not always what we get. Sometimes, your people are just on the periphery of life and on those rare occasions when the paths do cross, there’s that feeling of connection again, like it’s never left. When I see one of my people in a grocery store, or at school, or in the aisle at church, I never want to leave.
The Latin word lego means ‘play well’, and maybe that’s what it’s all about in the end. We are making connections, and building something beautiful that we could never make on our own. Just like children, we won’t always see what we’re building until it’s complete, but when we hear that click and know we’ve connected, we know we’re playing well.
For my people…. thank you.