• marija leilynn

warmth

Imagine yourself wrapped in your most favorite piece of clothing and your biggest smile, holding a steaming cup of whatever you drink on a cold Thursday morning.

Who are you meeting with?

I've found myself in this position more often lately, and this time around the excitement over-rules the insecurities I once had.

I remember a time when I held a cup of coffee close as if it was protection against my fragile heart being exposed to the person across from me. The caffeine would kick out enough energy to get through an hour of small talk, and then I could go bountifully throughout the rest of my day fulfilled in the comfort of my own head space without having to share a single vulnerable thing.

It's easy to do, we've all done it, we all DO it.

But overtime, I started to notice that I was making the steps in the direction of connection, but still blocking any more of me from being exposed. The point of meeting was killed instantly.

What was it for? To imagine out a friendship just so I could be seen in public with a person or convince myself of a social acceptation due to a series of questions that avoided the heart of that person completely? I wanted more, not just want-but CRAVED. I was unknowingly depriving myself of connection by the fear of being seen by someone who had not yet had time to show me a reason to trust them.

Every time without fail, I left behind my empty cup of coffee and a forgotten list of answers to a forgotten list of questions.


Quick lil' side note: the reason for the lack of connection here is not small talk. Small talk, I believe, is sometimes a necessary building block to establish roots within a longer-lasting connection. The problem here is the mindset behind it-which brings me to the grand crescendo.


I went into those conversations layering myself in fear, rather than with the intention to truly connect with someone outside of myself- rather than intending to seek to understand and wrap them in love. Only recently have I truly tried to practice this with those I don't know as well, and now that I see the difference it has become so valuable to me. I have seen how much depth "small talk" really has-when it is presented with intention.

The secret to connection, is not to focus on connecting but allowing yourself to be open-hearted with the intent to understand the other person and their story. It's to resist an inward focus and choose to pay attention to who is across the table instead.

If you relate to any of that struggle I had (and still have sometimes) I encourage you to give this a try. I promise you you'll begin to feel connection in a real and honest way.

how can I be sure?

The Bible is packed with advice on "loving your neighbor as yourself." why is that? Because the followers of Jesus are in the process of being molded to be more and more like his kind and perfect self. A huge part of the character of Jesus is selflessness-and selflessness is true love. (Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast...etc, all of which are acts that pertain to an outward focus/ 1 cor 13:4.) If it's still a little hard to understand, get this:

When you separate yourself from yourself to give to others without expectation of a return, we have no cause to be disappointed or even to give in to insecurity-because you are forgetting about yourself completely. How is it possible to feel insecure about who you are or disappointed in what you were given if you weren't focused on you at all?


so next time you find yourself sharing a cup of coffee with someone, challenge your intentions, and watch what passionate and meaningful relationships flourish.


When there is no fear, there is love. When there is love, there is always connection.

{there is no fear in love, for perfect love drives out fear.}

-1 john 4:18

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