Lost Connection – Part 1
By Claire Berry
Happy and fulfilling relationships are everything in life, and I am sure that you know this to be reading this article. More than one person, wiser than me, has said that to receive love unconditionally is to be in heaven. Now you may see this as Oneness or a state of bliss; but however you frame this, unconditional love is the ultimate human experience. So why is it so hard to achieve?
In chapter 4 of his book ‘Connected Hearts’, Peter Granger outlines why relationships can be so hard and how, by focusing on your heart, you can lead others to a happier state where relationships blossom with connectivity and love. We are all surrounded by relationships, and you may have noticed specific patterns as you have connected with others. How some relationships are full of ease and grace whilst other are challenging and fraught.
Through his psychophysiological research, Peter has identified what is happening both in the positive and negative relationships that we have. This information can help us all to form stronger and more open-hearted bonds with the people around us.
Let’s start by thinking about your own relationships. You may want to focus on a friendship or romantic relationship in your life past or present. If you are going to think about a relationship where the connection is poor, then you might find it easier to think about a relationship from the past. Often the passing of time gives us the power to see patterns more clearly and this can be very powerful when you are looking for ways to improve connections or ways to avoid falling into the same traps again. Whatever the form that the relationship takes, just be curious about what happened to your thoughts, feelings and experiences when you first met. What is it that makes the difference between a relationship that has a strong positive connection and one where the connection is poor or has been lost completely? If you want to have more positive successful relationships in your life then as you will find out, you hold the key.
So, let’s get started. At that first meeting you will have decided quickly whether you felt that the bond between you was positive or not. Some people say that we make our minds up about someone else in the first three seconds of meeting them and whether that is true or not we all know that it happens very quickly. Imagine that the feeling that you got from the other person was positive. What did it feel like? What happened to your thoughts? Did they wander or were you really focused on the person that you were connecting with. What did you talk about? In conversations with them it is likely that you have found common ground that has formed a positive connection. Sometimes it can be shared interest or sense of humour, or it may be that there is a romantic connection, and you couldn’t stop looking at them and holding them in your eyes. However the bond was formed, you would have felt happy in the presence of this person and this connection will have empowered you.
In his research Peter has discovered why this happens. His experiments show that when there is a connection between two people, this is reflected in a rather beautiful, shared heart rate pattern. Where the connection is strong, then a smooth and healthy heart pattern will be seen for both people, leading to those familiar feelings of wellness or even euphoria. Peter has shown experimentally that this heart-to-heart connection has nothing to do with the conventional physical senses - there is an extra, energetic sense that is associated with love and postive emotions. But what about situations where the connection is poor? Well, in these situations the heart’s pattern will not show a shared pattern. What’s more, the two patterns will often be jerky and incoherent, which is known to be the result of negative thoughts and stress.
Of course, there are other types of relationship - the ones that start strongly but change over time. Maybe you can recall one like that? It could have been that one day there was an argument between you from which you have never been able to recover. Alternatively, it might have been the drip, drip, drip of niggling comments which meant that after a while the other person got on your nerves, so you stopped making plans to meet or ghosted them and their attempts to get in contact with you. Either way, if you are the kind of person who wants happy and healthy relationships in your life the lack of connection to someone else can feel like a loss.
When connection is poor and relationships appear to fail it can feel as though you are powerless to make a difference leaving you with a feeling of sadness and sometimes failure. Recapturing the power of your heart is the key to building up the positive connections that you have. This may be having an increased understanding of how to form new strong connections with others or how to improve the connections in relationships that felt that they were lost to you. A happy and fulfilling life centres on on making the very best of all of the relationships that surround you.
In his book ‘Connected Hearts’, Peter uses the findings from his research to explain in some detail how to use the power of your heart to embrace or heal each connection and every friendship that you have. My next article will give you a quick emergency first aid approach to re-establishing connection when things get tough, in any type of relationship.
If you would like to find out more about Peter’s research and why it is so important in learning how to build happy and successful relationships, then why not join us at BIGHEART 2023, being held in Bristol, UK on 5th November. Watch a video introduction:
Article written by Claire Berry