Looking at the video again and the answer is so clear. As the guy comes into contact with this beautiful powerful gorilla he approaches with respect, he meets with the gorilla on the gorilla’s terms. Using the appropriate body language he is able to communicate with absolute love, and the love is returned two-fold. The result is a heart-melting moment of deep connection, the fundamental needs of such connection are impossible to miss. Acceptance, trust, open hearted contact, an intimacy of deep deep emotional merger, and less obvious… the vibrational harmony between man’s and gorilla’s energy fields allowing for intuitive and instinctive knowingness.
My thoughts return to little Tinks, I ponder how our relationship developed. I remember sitting with her on my tummy as a kitten and her gazing into my eyes, I gazed back and silently and verbally told her time and time again “you are safe, I love you”. I played with her on her terms, getting down on the floor, rolling and stretching alongside her (which later meant that when I got on the floor to do yoga she would join in!) We played chase and hunted one another, hiding behind furniture and pouncing out. She would also invite me deeper into her world by bringing live mice home for me to play catch with – not that I particularly enjoyed this leisure time activity, especially not at 3am. I would throw hair bands and cable ties for her to catch, we crossed over into the dog realm for this as ‘fetch’ became one of her favourite games. Throughout it all I allowed her to feel safe, never intentionally causing her pain, never shouting aggressively, and always making loving cuddles and contact available, not to mention food.
The point being that to enable these animals to feel safe enough to connect with us, we have to meet them at their level and hold loving intent in our hearts while doing so.
So where was that deeply aching grief welling up from? The core of the pain was the disconnection I often feel with fellow humans. At our cores we all yearn for deep connection, yet our layers of wounding and conditioning holds us at a distance, even (and sometimes especially) from our family members. We are often so concerned with getting it right for others, based on what we think they might want from us mingled with childhood experiences of trial and error, being intermittent ‘good’ children and ‘naughty’ children, that we unintentionally are coming from a place of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of punishment, fear of judgment, of humiliation, of causing or receiving offense, of seeming foolish, arrogant and on and on. Or maybe we don’t sense the fear but instead push outwards from a defensive place, choosing not to connect and fooling ourselves into believing we don’t need to feel unity with fellow humans. Or maybe we have bought into the illusion of ‘survival of the fittest’ and believe we are in competition with everyone around us.
My sense is that it is time to stop, time to tune into what is going on for ourselves, to dig deep and find what our unique patterning is that is preventing deeper connection, and then to nurture ourselves out of it by practicing a new way of being. As we move forward into the new era, one of humanity and service to others, we have to establish better communication, deeper connections, openness of heart, and trustful relationships. The age old truth is that we cannot change another person, but we can change ourselves and choose to relate to others from this place of love, respect, of willingness to meet with the other on their terms, somebody has to go first! I am reminded of a lesson highlighted for me in a beautiful relationship – we had reached stalemate; I was feeling that I couldn’t show the whole of myself to this man without him first demonstrating that he would accept me as I was, I needed to feel safe, secure and held by him. He in turn couldn’t offer that level of acceptance and therefore security without first seeing the whole of who I am. It’s a universal stalemate that occurs between the masculine and feminine, David Deida writes about it in his book ‘Blue Truth’. The relationship didn’t survive but it did propel me into a yearlong journey of looking at my fears around being seen, and how that impacted on others, how distant and disconnected I could feel to others and the pain that the disconnection caused both me and them, and finally what I was denying the world by hiding myself. Amongst other things, I was denying merger, union… Yoga!
So as I sit with the sorrow, recognising the pain of disconnection whilst seeing before me an example of immensely beautiful union, I feel the pain soften and shift. Hope wells up, beyond the hope a deeper belief, the belief is that we do, as humans have the capacity to establish the connection we yearn for. It will take a little practice but we have so many resources to draw upon, including our relationships with the animal kingdom where the potential for deep healing lies. I urge you to watch the video, allow your heart to be touched and melted, and embrace the belief that you and I can and will share loving connection and human union.