Dread of feeling too much might keep us from delving into photos from our past, but connection isn’t dangerous. Social and emotional connection is necessary to our feeling like part of a group, whether it’s our family, our friends, or our community.
When we connect to other people or even to our own emotions and memories we become vulnerable to feeling very strong emotions.
Connection is vulnerability, but it’s necessary. It’s not something we should avoid or hide from. It’s part of our humanity.
We do become vulnerable when we look at our photos. Brené Brown, expert in empathy and connection says, “The truth is […] what makes something better is connection. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living. Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
The deep connection we feel through our photographs can help us reconnect to our friends and family who are still alive. When we see a photo and relive a memory we might want to remember it with them. How often does looking at a photo lead to a phone call where you reconnect with your siblings, travel partners, or childhood friends to reminisce?Looking at our photos and opening ourselves to the strong emotions we may experience is honestly why photos exist!