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Rev. Sandra Schubert

by Sandra Lee Schubert

We are all connected arenít we?  There are all sorts of connections that happen.  Events trigger a string of occurrences that ripple out like a pebble skimming the surface of water. We are connected to our family ties, friends, to our country.  We can be well-connected in our careers; having established business relationships as we move up the ladder of success.

We want to be connected to something, somebody, to a grand purpose that is larger then our own life.  We are made up of the building blocks that created the universe and therefore are tied to the whole universe in a great dance of connectivity.  We still donít fully understand our relationship to each other.  We are surprised when we have hurt somebody.  Touched to discover our words have helped another.  The World Wide Web intermingles millions of people around this blue marbled planet.  Whether we love or hate each other we still are united in a commonality that we canít ignore.

Yes, we are connected.

Then why are so many of us still so lonely?  The America Heritage Dictionary lists this as the first definition of connection: 

con∑nec∑tion      (kə-něk'shən)   n. 

a.       The act of connecting.
b.      The state of being connected.
c.       A drug dealer.
d.      A purchase of illegal drugs.

You may have many other definitions and ways connection work, but I thought these encapsulated the yearning and the affect of the desire to be connected. 

The Art of Connecting:

It is early morning and you rush to meet the 7:15 am train because you know that will connect you to the 8:03 am train and get you to work on time.

You are at a bar and meet a nice woman or man and instantly you hit it off.  There are so many things you have in common.  You are connecting with that person.

A crime was committed.  It is the detectivesí job to connect the robbery with the person who left the fingerprint on the safe.

A plumber is fixing a broken pipe by connecting the new pipe with the old to make water flow once again. 

You are at a spiritual retreat.  The weather is perfect.  The chanting is sublime.  The food is superb.  The monks are giving you great wisdom.  You feel you are connecting to the whole universe by just sitting and staring at a lit candle.

There we are caught in the act of connecting.  We do it all the time.  Some times it is in the ordinary acts of everyday actions.  Other times it is in the midst of extraordinary experiences.  We canít help it.  Connections become vital to how we live our every day existence. 

The State of Being Connected:

Letís go back to the retreat.  In that moment of meditating there is a connection to something sublime.  You sit in a meditative position and you feel it in your bones.  You are alive.  The universe once vast and frightening becomes reachable.  You feel one with the stars, the planets the very molecules that make us all one.

At the bar you are chatting with someone special.  The sparks are flying.  The conversation sizzles.  Your heart flutters.  You are making a real connection here.  You feel it in your body.  If you could step back and look at your ethereal bodies it would seem the two are moving in unison.  You are connected.

This is a great state to be in.  Whether it is being one with the universe, or one with another person, it feels good.  Even for the detective solving a crime or the business person catching the train it is a sense of accomplishment, of things falling into place.

This is an almost magical feeling.  We make connections and things come together and we feel good.

But what if donít make connections or the ones we do make arenít for our good?  What do we do then? 

A Drug Dealer:

Ok so things didnít work out so well at the bar.  The person ended up getting a call from his wife and had to leave.  Or you made seven phone calls and sent out a bunch of emails but no one was around for dinner, or even to talk.  You are lonelier then you have ever been and want something.  The neighborhood drug dealer makes big money from this kind of yearning.  They have the thing you need to make the pain go away.  And you go for it.  The pain does go away.  It comes back, again and again.  There you are on a dark street calling someone you know will answer.  You need each other; a connection of the worst kind.  A drug dealer is the one example of this type of connector. There are others that may be even more insidious.  We are bombarded by things that will fill our need for connection.  Buy this new car.  Get a new hair cut.  Shoes.  Shoes will make the connection for you.  Or how about the new self-help book or a new religion that promises your life will be all that you want it to be?  They are things out there for both the good and bad that call to us.  And like sailors lost at sea we may be tempted by the sirens call for things to satisfy us.

A Purchase of Illegal Drugs:

We are hungry and we will feed off anything when we are starving. Sometimes the new haircut is all we need to feel good about ourselves. We are all tempted.  The sudden urge for ice cream comes when the friend has not called as promised. The desire to shop letís you see tangible results for our efforts.  Some of us like to live alone but still want to know there is some one who cares about us.  We join online chat rooms and become part of clubs.  We wander the malls looking for something.  When we buy the new self-help book there is that feeling of anticipation, an excitement that this is the book that will finally help you get the things you need.  We search for the big connection the one that will make everything seem better.  You may have never thought of buying illegal drugs on street corner, but there have been other ways you have sought to be connected.  Sometimes things worked and other times they didnít.


I spent the morning on an email exchange with a friend.  We discussed many things from Elton John to my eye surgery.  We talked about how my cousin read my friends book on weddings and decided on the perfect one for her which included me performing the service!

On a routine visit to my eye doctor it was discovered I had a form of glaucoma that affects about 10% of the population.  I donít know of anyone who had it on my motherís side of the family.  My parents are gone many years and I know nothing about the health of my fatherís family. I was surprised to learn of the glaucoma, and relieved to know it could be treated and managed.  I reached out to family and friends.  My friends are my extended family.  Not in the traditional Christmas dinner kind of way.  I donít seem many of them that often. But we are always in contact, especially via email.  My connections are electronic.  My intimate moments zip through the ethers.  I have been able to reacquaint with old friends and have made new ones electronically.  I see it all the time.  Blogs are like coffeehouses where you discuss the mundane, the profane the sublime.  I know people hate it but I have found a way to reach out to a far flung community that I might not have done otherwise.

The thing about connecting is that we tend to want to make it extraordinary.  We want the grand moments at the retreat when we feel united with the universe.  We want to connect with someone at a deep, emotional and spiritually level.  Darn it, we want to make the 8:03 and get to work on time.  Connections are mostly ordinary.  I have a nice relationship with the guys at the deli down the block from work.  I come in and never have to say more then good morning.  Before I know it they hand me my coffee and buttered roll and off I go.  There is always a line of puzzled customers wondering how it happened. I have gone there for four years.  I order the same thing in the morning and the same thing at four oíclock when I decide to take a break.  I practice my feeble Spanish on them, and they tease me about things.  Is it a deep connection?  No, but it is important nonetheless. The same goes for the postal worker who brings my mail and the UPS guy who is always happy when a book is delivered for me.  These are the small connections that make up a life.  Sure the big connections are great.  Those are the ones that sit in my bones and I can recall when the need arises. Sometimes the new haircut is all we need to feel good about ourselves.

Despite feelings to the contrary I say we are always in the state of connection.  That woo-woo feeling at the retreat is just us calling up the feeling of being connected.

Connections are small and large, grand and ordinary. We are intermingling molecules always in relationship with one another.  If you think of yourself connected to the whole of the universe, how could you feel alone?

© Copyright 2007 Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert.  All Rights Reserved. 

Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert
Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert
is an interfaith minister, writer and founder of Wild Woman Ministries and Wild Woman Network.  Rev. Schubert helps people discover and unlock their creative potential--through creating art, producing classes and workshops or just pursuing a life long goal--and is committed to assisting people in fulfilling their dreams. She also leads workshops and facilitates a popular writing program called the Wild Angels at the historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  Her subscription e-course - Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own is available at:

Email: wwn@wildwomannetwork.com, 212-642-5042 




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