The Connection Codes tools are designed to help us heal and deepen every relationship in our life. Here are a few ways they have done so for me this year.
With my children:
I use Connection Codes tools with my children all day every day. They allow me to slow down my reaction time, understand the needs and emotions beneath my children’s behaviors, and process my own emotions about motherhood. One day a few months ago one of my children was “in a bad mood”, not getting along with their siblings and ineffectively communicating a lot of anger and frustration towards everyone. I asked them to sit and talk with me. They did, though begrudgingly, and I asked them what emotion they were experiencing. At first they said I don’t know, I’m just annoyed and bored. This language didn’t help us connect or find solutions though so I gently prodded them to share their core emotions with me. After a few minutes of talking they teared up, something they don’t often do, and expressed loneliness. That is when the light bulb flashed for me. It was a week when all of their siblings had plans and they did not. They had been cooped up in the house for several days, had not seen friends in a while, had not done anything active or creative that week. As soon as they shared that I felt my heart fill with understanding and compassion. They spoke their pain, an invaluable part of processing emotion and getting our needs met, we connected, and then we co-created a solution. The next day we spent a fun, memorable afternoon connecting with one of their closest friends who we had not seen in a while. What began as a pain point became a bonding experience.
In my marriage:
Using the Connection Codes tools in my marriage has been more of an adjustment. Learning to use this language and change many, many years of patterns and conditioning takes a little more effort for adults than it does for children. Thankfully, we finally seem to really be getting the hang of it! One way this has greatly impacted us is in learning to identify, communicate and advocate for our needs. Most people in our culture have learned to be codependent instead of interdependent. This means that most of us chronically neglect our own needs and spend a significant amount of energy trying to guess and react to what everyone else needs. We have done this more often than not but lately we are learning to change this pattern. A few weeks ago we had a rare quiet Saturday afternoon ahead of us and when we realized we had no plans or commitments we both checked in with each other and we both spoke up. He communicated a desire to connect with the kids and to spend some time at the river. I communicated a need to rest and a desire for silence and solitude. Then we both expressed our desire to support the other and we ended up spending the afternoon being reenergized and filled with joy, him at the river with the kids, me in our room napping and reading.
With my Self:
These tools are designed to heal and deepen every relationship, including the one we have with our Self. Most of us are not aware of this relationship or the impact it has on our mental health or our day to day life. Of course, I need to heal this relationship, I can’t get away from my Self! Learning to follow my own energy has impacted me more than anything. We live in a culture that teaches us to judge, criticize and resist our own energy. But that does not work, it will never work. The more we can just notice what is happening for us without judging it, the more we will heal. One way this plays out for me is with my need for rest. The story I have always told myself is that I should not need rest, that I should rest minimally, that I need to work and do and produce. I have judged my need for rest for many, many years now. Lately, as I learn to follow my own energy and just observe my needs and emotions instead of judging them, I have allowed my body to tell me when I need to rest. And this design is so beautiful because my body will tell me, then I can meet that need, then I have the energy to show up in my life without bitterness or resentment or burnout. It is incredible!
Life will always present us with challenges. But these tools equip us to heal and thrive even so.
What is one Connection Codes tool that has brought healing and connection to your life? What is one tool you would like to learn more about?