After having discovered my top five strengths through Gallup CliftonStrengths, which I’ve written about here, curiosity got the better of me and I purchased my full 34-strengths profile from Gallup so that I could see what came next. To my delight, I learned that Connectedness is my number six theme. No surprise there, really, as people with high Connectedness have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason. From Gallup:
Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger.
Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities.
If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting.
Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries1.
My favorite contemporary singer/songwriter, Laura Marling, has a song on her latest album, Semper Femina, that I could play on repeat, and quite frequently do, titled, Always This Way. The line: “Like to think that we’re all a link, In what makes the world go round” speaks to something deep within my soul, quite obvious now that that something is Connectedness.
Because while I enjoy the history I uncover, what I love most about researching my family tree is revealing the unknown and discovering the connections of ancestors from different branches of my tree. I have chills whenever I find two seemingly unrelated people from two different parts of my tree in the same geographical area as one another. For example, my father’s 2x great-grandparents and my mother’s 2x great-grandparents lived within thirty miles of one another in the 1850s-1870s. And while I may never know for certain if they crossed paths, or if they knew one another by name, or if they felt shocked or saddened by events to come, I feel a little thrill at the idea of their closeness.
Connectedness, for me, feels as though everything that’s happened, everything that IS happening, was and is meant to happen in order for future events yet to unfold. That even if my 3x great-grandparents didn’t know each other in their time, their very closeness to one another was hinting at the destiny of my parents meeting. And thus, the destiny of my arrival to begin the journey to rediscover my roots. For me, the past, the present and the future are connected, inexplicably, intrinsically linked. Continue reading “Connectedness”