Resetting to Real

The more I retreat from socializing virtually
The more I am unavailable
The richer my remaining encounters and relationships are

A lovely paradox to live, navigate and experience.

That is one way of putting my latest experiment in relating in a nutshell, of course the experience itself is much more nuanced and the insights gained multidimensional and manyfold. Retreating from social media and its temptations in staying connected with those, who in times before internet would have been lost to my experience until our life paths crossed or aligned again, has been a source of deep contemplations, emotional and mental integration and a fundamental reset to my relational system.

There is beauty in the possibilities of virtuality, the multitude of information and knowledge available to us in our increasingly digital realities. And in the glaring light of infinite possibilities, distractions and temptations it is easy to remain blind to the costs of living our relational lives to a high degree within digital instead of analogue realities. Which points in part towards the loss of exchanges in form of tones of voices, micro-expressions, body language, chemistry and energy and goes much further than we are aware of until we make ourselves change our experience.

There is a massive loss our relational system encounters in engaging too much in the virtual and not enough in the real. A loss in nourishment, calibration, and co-regulation with others, which are essential to our wellbeing and health. Unfortunately the habituated behaviors and communication styles that arise from being too much in the digital have a way of bleeding over into the real and disconnecting us further when we remain unaware.

Have you noticed how little REAL encounters you have with others these days? 

In a real encounter all participants are present, open hearted, ready and capable to attune to each other, listen, share and express from their essential nature. There is a marked absence of the machinations of the ego, mind games, automatisms, and mindless chatter or replay of patterns. No matter if people are spiritual or not, the majority do not take the time to be fully present and attuned to an exchange as their being is way too exited, vigilant, minds racing, emotions chaotically overflowing or ebbing – which only allows for personalities and minds to meet but no deeper meeting of souls and beings to be possible. 

The engagement in the virtual has furthermore robbed many of several layers of trust, which once arose from feeling safe to express who they are in contexts of friendship or acquaintanceship. The experience of safe spaces where everyone gets to express freely and healthy discourses on the matters shared (not on the validity of another’s feelings, experience, or worse person) is possible, has become a luxury hidden behind paywalls of therapy, workshops and retreats. And even there the corrosiveness of current trends is undercutting a true and prevailing acceptance of ALL that is present by only allowing for what aligns with the given groupthink. If we do not consciously create such safe spaces for each other we are becoming part and enablers of this toxic patterning that cuts us off from each other and renders egos ever more fragile, violent and dangerous.

Real encounters are also more prevalent when people have enough time to themselves, to integrate experiences, to self care and nurture, to know themselves and their inner universe and have the spaciousness and willingness to open to the vastness of another in their unique complexities. They cannot be easily had by a relational system that is being drained and exhausted by non-stop information overload, emotionally manipulative content, and the rise and intensity of fanatical and manipulative language, and disappointing social encounters and experiences in the virtual sphere.

They can happen wherever one person is willing and ready to hold space for realness and invites the others into presence. It takes only one person to open the door, and equally only one to bar real encounters. I sense there is more here that wants to be explored and known by us

The past 3 months have been incredibly nourishing and delightful to me as I had more real encounters in that time than I recall having in years. My awareness was focused on the quality of relating, energy exchange, reciprocity, and my body’s responses in order to learn anew what works for me and serves my wellbeing. It was surprising to realize how important fairly short exchanges with strangers or near-strangers can be whenever we are fully present to them and the others follow our invitation into it. Amazing how a short conversation, smiles, and meeting of beings can uplift and nurture the relational system for days to come – if experienced and reflected from a space of open hearted presence, playfulness and gratitude.

What a gift to reset to the real and get new insights into my relational system and its workings.

~ August 2022

Photography by Tatsuo Suzuki
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