Human Connection And The Longing To Be Part Of Something Greater Than Ourselves

People and connection at sunset

The essence of human connection is heart.

Our heart is the essence of who and what we truly are. It exists beyond the cage of our limited thoughts and beliefs and comes with a deep sense of unity and peacefulness. It’s at this deep level of our being we feel our connectedness to each other and all things.

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, our longing for connection is present in so much of our human behaviours. Sometimes obvious, but other times not so evident.

Connection permeates so much of life. Even in situations and events where you’d never expect heart to be, it’s there, hidden in the background. Like a distant memory of something we once knew very intimately, fueling aspects of our behaviours.

This means our heart is never far away… If we’re willing to see it.

So, let’s dive into the heart by exploring and understanding human connection.

To get the most out of this, don’t rush through to the end. This post is supposed to be participatory and reflective, to help you identify connection in a meaningful way that leads you deeper into your heart.

Human Connection and Belonging

Connection brings a feeling of belonging or being part of something greater than ourselves. It brings us together to work, play, heal and learn together. Beliefs, ideas, values or goals (among others), can be things that bring groups of people together.

Think of team sports. A group of people coming together around a shared passion of a particular sport, and a shared goal of winning. Competition can definitely inspire teamwork, and in working together there’s a sense of human connection and camaraderie. As much as there’s the enjoyment and challenge of playing the sport, there’s something that feels so good about doing it together – the connection.

That’s not to say there isn’t something special about solo sports too, but this post is about connection. There’s a level of discipline and self mastery that we strive for in both solo and team sports, but with team sports our discipline and self mastery supports the team.

If you’ve not played team sports before, that’s ok, you’ve still likely been part of a team in some way. Maybe your workplace feels like a team, or perhaps when you’re working on a project with others. Maybe you’re a new parent, and you and your husband, wife or partner are a team taking on the challenges and joys of raising your new baby.

The sense of team, or the feeling of connection can come in many forms:

  • Family.
  • A book club.
  • Studying with others.
  • A creative project with friends.
  • Being in a band and playing music together.
  • Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking or hiking with friends.
  • Travelling with friends, or new friends we’ve found along the way.
  • Mastermind groups.
  • Meditation groups.
  • Support groups.

And many more.

Where else have you felt a sense of connection with others?

Identifying and Feeling Connection

Would you truly know what an apple if you never tasted it?

To truly understand human connection, we have to go beyond just a mental understanding of the words we use to describe it. To truly know, understand and recognize connection we need to know it from the inside – meaning, to feel it.

Start by thinking about some of the situations, events or groups where you come together around a shared goal, adventure, learning or challenge. Maybe one of the examples above, but maybe something else.

Once you have that in mind, I want you to feel into it.

Beyond the thing you come together around, can you feel the sense of connection that underlies it? Like a sense of resonance with the other people. A togetherness.

Before you read on, it’s important to take a few moments to really feel it.

It’s not what you actually did with these people, it’s that you did it with someone else or a group of people. It’s that underlying feeling of connection to your fellow humans.

It feels good, right?

It does something to your heart. Or, more accurately, it puts you more in touch your heart and allows more of it to shine through. Remember, connection is one of the fundamental aspects of the heart, so feeling connection is a pathway into your heart.

Don’t be too quick to move on here. There’s no rush! You can stay for a few minutes and just allow yourself to feel into this feeling of connection. Become familiar with it and feel your heart respond.

When you’re ready, stay with that feeling and read on, and let’s expand it and explore another example of connection.

Human Connection and Support

The feeling of connection also brings a feeling of support.

For example, if we’ve been through a trauma of some kind, maybe an injury, an assault, sickness, heart break or loss, at some point on our healing journey we usually turn to others for support. Whether we admit it or not, we inherently know the healing power of connection.

Sometimes that support is as simple as just sharing how we feel while someone else listens without judgement. Sometimes it’s people who’ve gone through similar traumatic experiences meeting up and sharing their experiences and feelings with each other.

Coming together around a similar experience allows the underlying connection to come forward, naturally supports healing and growth.

While the trauma each person experienced may have been horrific, and sharing it and processing it might be painful, there’s a beautiful sense of support that comes through the underlying connection of the group. Connection is a supportive force that allows the people to feel and heal their pain in a safe way… In a way they may not have been able to do on their own.

You’re Not Alone

Traumas, and the intense emotions that come with them, can often make us feel alone and disconnected. If we feel disconnected, then it’s because we’re disconnected from our heart. But the connection of others and the support it brings, helps us to remember that we’re not alone, in turn, re-establishing the connection back to our heart.

This is priceless!

Now, take a few moments to remember a time when you went through something like this. If you don’t have any major traumas you can think of, remember a time when you openly and vulnerably shared a challenge you were going through with someone who simply listened.

Like the previous example, can you feel beyond the trauma or event you come together around? Can you feel the sense of connection that underlies it? That sense of togetherness there in the background offering a web of support.

Beyond the pain or discomfort of the trauma, something feels good. Something of your heart responds. Something of your heart comes alive through the underlying connection and support.

Connection puts us more in touch with our heart… and this facilitates healing.

Again, before you read on, take a few moments to really feel it. It’s still important!

When you’re ready, stay with that feeling and read on, and let’s expand it further and look at a not so obvious example of connection and heart.

The Hidden Heart – With a Twist

The longing for connection lies in our essence. It’s not only part of who we are but it’s part of the fabric of life. An interconnectedness between all things… and we’re part of that.

The longing for connection is so strong that people will come together for all kind of things… But that doesn’t mean those things align with our heart.

For example, sometimes people are drawn together through complaining. Have you ever noticed there’s a magnetic quality to complaining? Someone might be complaining about someone else, and then others are pulled in, feeding the fire of frustration and anger.

On one level there’s the emotional venting or outburst. But on another level, there’s a coming together around a shared complaint. This can also bring that sense of belonging and connection that we long for. A feeling of not being alone in our frustrations – which can also feel good.

Let’s make this a little more real.

Take a moment now to reflect on a time when you connected with someone or a group over complaining. We’ve all done it at some point.

Notice how easy it was to let your emotions draw you into the complaining. Like there was an instant camaraderie because you had a shared frustration.

Remember, this is not about judging or justifying what you were complaining about (that would be another topic). This is about identifying the sense of connection that lies hidden under these behaviours.

As before, feel beyond the thing you were complaining about. Feel that sense of connection that comes because you’re doing it with someone else. If you were on your own you might run those complaining thoughts over and over in your mind, but it’s not the same as when you do it out loud with others. Right?

Can you feel that?

It would be easy to misunderstand the connection and associate it with the complaining, but the sense of connection is a separate force of its own. The complaining provided an avenue to come together and feel some level of connection… But the complaining keeps the levels of connection more superficial.

Taking it even further

It can even be seen in more extreme examples, like when people come together with ill intentions – perhaps planning a violent riot or crime. There’s a coming together around a shared vision or belief, and a feeling of being part of something greater than themselves as individuals.

Is the shared complaint, planned riot or crime an expression of the heart?


Does the underlying connection justify violence?


The underlying connection is not the act.

Understanding the Twist

The longing to connect and be part of something more than ourselves is an expression of our heart. It’s a longing to return to the unity we know at this deep level of our being. But this longing can sometimes pull us to connect over things that have nothing to do with our heart. There’s a level of connection in the background but our actions are not in alignment with our heart.

When we don’t understand and align with the source of this longing to connect, then it’s easily twisted.

What’s beautiful at its essence (connection), becomes corrupted, as we let our emotional reactions, frustrations and anger fuel our actions. As a result, people come together to perform cruel and horrible actions against our fellow humans… never realizing the underlying reason they’re pulled together to connect is actually the heart.

To be very clear, I’m not suggesting the underlying connection erases any cruel or violent act someone has done. And I’m not in any way trying to condone or justify violence. This post is about identifying the power of connection in human behaviours where we may not usually recognize it.

The true desire for connection is not to choose a side, it’s to return to its source. The unity in our heart where we feel connected to each other and all things.

This fabric of love that permeates all things is the principle of connection.

When we feel this level of connection with each other there will be no need to fight, because there’s a complete shift in consciousness.

At this level there is no “you vs me”. There is only “us”.

The Common Thread

Take a moment now to reflect on all of the examples above.

Can you feel the common thread of connection behind all of them?

If we separate out the varied stories and situations that bring us together (whatever those situations might be), what remains is the underlying sense of connection.

Beautiful isn’t it!

Love, heart and connection really is the fabric that binds us.

Our longing to be part of something greater than our self, is because at this deep heart level, we already are.

If we allow ourselves to be honest and vulnerable enough to understand that the connection we long for in all kinds of life situations is a reflection of the unity and connection we already know deep in our heart, then we have an incredible opportunity to recognize the fabric of love that permeates all of life.

We can then use it to transform our behaviours, individually and collectively, and learn to act from there.

That doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but it is a choice. And following this thread of connection can help us.

Spend some time reflecting and feeling the underlying connection that’s there in the background of all of your human interactions – all the situations and events that have brought you together with others.

Don’t judge the reason for it. Just allow yourself to feel the connection, and let it reconnect you to your heart. It’s from this place that we can truly make a difference in the world.

An Important Question

You will be connecting with people over all kinds of things throughout your life. So, I ask you:

What will you choose to connect over?

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