Connecting with Nature
Why bother to connect with nature? What’s in it for me?
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“The true frontier for humanity is learning to connect.” Dr Sue Johnson
I have for many years now spent time in nature, deliberately connecting with the spirit of the bush and the inhabitants that reside there, both in form and in spirit.
I knew it felt good when I spent time in Nature. I knew in my bones it was good for me. I felt more real, I felt happier, more connected and importantly more resilient to life’s trials, but why? Even despite a number of tragedies amongst my family and friends that should have been enough to throw me into depression and anxiety. So, what’s in it for us as human beings to bother connecting with nature and the spirits that inhabit her?
Through those tragedies I had also begun to get counselling support and this reintroduced me to a passion for the study of psychology, which in turn helped me to understand & elucidate the human condition. At last, I had some better understanding of & ways to articulate why my processes of connecting with Nature seem so powerful over and above it just feeling nice to be in nature. It’s a complex matter but simplistically put, our mammalian brains are hard wired for connection. Bonding on this level is very old in us, very essential. It even creates Oxytocin, the feel good or love hormone.
Connection to each other is critical, yes. So also is connection to our lost mother. As humans we have chosen to progressively remove ourselves from Nature via the move away and distancing ourselves from our original environment. First to villages, then towns and now cities. We’ve progressively unattached ourselves from our original mother, the earth.
She, this most ancient mother, ultimately provides (via the support of father sun) everything for us, and yet we treat her with great distain. We use her. We abuse her. We hardly ever ring home anymore or ask how she is. We have become more and more isolated from her. We have become ever more withdrawn from her. This withdrawal builds on itself in a cycle of disconnection, to the point where we have given up on this connection, like we might give up on a relationship or a bad marriage.
We feel superior in our cities. We have conquered the earth. Who needs to be connected to the conquest of our achievements? We are humans not animals. We do not need nature anymore. Sure “it’s” pretty and we might occasionally go see her briefly or watch her with David Attenborough. But all too sadly we do need her & urgently.
That relationship to our mother used to make us feel relatively safe. Now we struggle with doubts, with negativity. We have become care-less of that relationship. We no longer care for, or about nature.
Part two. This Article appeared AFSC news letter.
Attachment and deep “attachment” as expounded by Attachment Theory is a core need for humans. We have lost much of our deep attachment to nature, so we have been cut adrift from our original source.
We have become isolated from nature and isolation leads to neglect. With this neglect comes a slow, deep, creeping guilt, the guilt that we do not really care anymore. Losing connection with the earth on this level scares us and this fear subtly unsettles us, so we shut down. We have shut down our ability to really empathise with the environment and with others. Just look around and see what is going on in the world right now. I believe many of us are unknowingly afraid to confront these feelings, these emotions buried under layers of addictions, to food, TV, alcohol & drugs.
We are numbing to the pain within ourselves, and the earth. Look at the growing statistics of depression, anxiety & obesity. The more advanced and removed from nature our cultures become, the greater these issues come forth, to the tipping point now of an exponential explosion of discontent & poor mental health. I think we are now so far removed, that this guilt that we feel deep down inside scares us.
I have had clients say they feel they cannot connect to Nature. They are scared to connect. They are scared at what the long abandoned and abused mother will say to them if they open a dialogue. We are ashamed of the way we have treated her so we withdraw further. Can we really look up & into her eyes? Are we so scared that we would see disgust? No, you will not. Not at all! What I have found when I have looked deeply into her eyes, are pools of unconditional love. I see great love and trust and that she is weeping for us, weeping for her own children. She is sad for us and she says “Please come home. Please come home, from the war.” She allows us to touch the sadness inside and let it go, to have a conversation and be held by our original mum.
So, how do we begin to reform the lost bonds? How do we re-attach? How do we get home? It’s not enough to think about it, read about it here, or see it on TV. We need to create a new dance with nature. Different music brings about a different dance.
My new dance, in conjunction with my dowsing buddy Kevin Parker has been via Shamanism, Dowsing and Deep Ecology. Kevin & I have for many years now explored our reconnection to Nature Spirits. These are the literal voices of the earth, whispering in our ear. The watery eyes of the mother calling us back. They have told Kevin & I, it’s time we shared what they have taught us so far, what we were scared to share should we be labeled a bit (or a lot) odd. We have been given maps for greater understanding & new music to share & dance to. We would love to help choreograph your beautiful dance back home. It’s up to you to stand up for the new dance, or will you remain a wallflower?
My gratitude for the elucidations & borrowed words of Dr Sue Johnson an EFT psychologist of renown.
Author : Anthony Ashworth