Scuba diving, Onions and Relationships – Connecting the Dots



Movie
– Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, 

Scene – Scuba Diving

Katrina Kaif (Scuba diving instructor) says – “Your life is gonna change after this”

Hrithik Roshan (an aqua-phobic) responds – “Only if I survive”

If you have seen the movie, you might recollect this scene and Hrithik’s transformation from there on. He never felt he was missing on something until then. His life was the one that most of us could wish for in our 20’s – the high-flying ambitious corporate guy who aims to make it big by his 40’s. My favorite part is the moment after the scuba diving, when Hrithik is with himself (with his true self) probably for the first time. A moment where he breaks down (like meeting a long-lost friend). The only way he could meet his true self was to break the shackles of his fears and be ready to take the plunge. The plunge to a world so true and quiet, that he could hear his own breath and  feel alive to the core. These are not just any fleeting moments but moments that gets etched into one’s soul. (I want you to take a moment to see this video)

Relationships are quite similar, aren’t they? We may be using “floaters” and floating through superficial relationships and we can do this forever. With the multitude of connecting tools that we have at our disposal  we might not even realize we are missing on anything until we find a relationship so true that makes us feel alive to the core. It’s enriching in life to experience the much deeper ones. This could be a friendship, a brotherhood, sisterhood, a love relationship or whatever you call it. What we call these relationships are irrelevant, what matters is the experience of deep connectedness.

Deep Conversations leads to True Connectedness

True connectedness comes from deep conversations. Dr Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on meaningful conversations and happiness states that   “By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world. And interpersonally, as you find this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner.” He adds – “Substantive conversations don’t need to be driven by emotion; It could be about politics, environment or a certain TV show but they must involve some personal disclosure.”

Now when I say personal disclosure, it doesn’t necessarily mean you lay it all out there at the first meeting. Similar to  scuba diving, we simply don’t dive right away. It’s a step by step slow process.   Psychologists Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor in 1973, formulated a theory called social penetration theory (also referred to as Onion Theory) which proposes that, as relationships develop, interpersonal communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate levels to deeper, more intimate ones.

oniontheory

What then stops us from such conversations and henceforth experiencing such relationships? Most of the time, it’s the fear of being judged, lack of trust and  sometimes the fear of rejection. Opening up to someone can make us feel vulnerable and exposed, but it is the most important ingredient of a trusting, intimate relationship. Researcher Brene Brown in her book –The Gifts of Imperfection writes – ‘We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives”. She also mentions in her book that her research participants when asked to talk about their most important relationships and experiences of connection, would keep telling her about heartbreak, betrayal and shame – the fear of not being worthy of real connection.

Deep down are the wild currents that could stir us up. Trying to explore the currents needs heart that is ready to dissolve our own mental barriers and fears of being judged and rejected. As Brene Brown states –  “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” The currents deep within the other person could stir us up.  But it would enrich our existence, make us feel alive

This is exactly why SoulCafe strongly holds on to its philosophy –  “Honest conversations lead to Soul Connections” when the world  trend is towards just “swipe left” or “swipe right”.

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