What Makes Human Connection Authentic?

Michelle Lindblom
7 min readApr 27, 2021
Matriarchal Dance, mixed media monotype, 24" x 18"
Matriarchal Dance, mixed media monotype, 24" x 18" by Michelle Lindblom, artist

Human connection is an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another.

How do we transmit or exchange that energy? Is it through the words we speak? Do our gestures, physical contact such as a hug, handshake or eye contact play a part in the exchange of energy? What about music or sharing memories? Is it all of the above?

Furthermore, what makes human connection authentic?

A Look Within

As we all sit within this bubble of pandemic pause, a myriad of scenarios have come to the surface. Most of which involve an acute awareness of self and our surroundings. In addition, our lack of choice in the matter forces us to look more closely into the mirror devoid of all the usual distractions prior to 2020.

What this has meant for many is a closer more detailed look at who we are now. Subsequently, we are able to contrast that with who we were prior to all the events, fears, disruptions of the last year. So, when you strip away all the extraneous mumbo jumbo and expectations, what you can see and feel are the bones, the foundation of who we are. This becomes our authentic self.

For me, this journey toward authenticity began taking place long before 2020, but has rose to prominence in the past few years and intensified with the pandemic.

The Emergence of Authenticity

Authenticity: the quality of being genuine, real, not false or copied.

When leaving my home state in the mid 1980’s as an adult (at 26), I was moving away from a place that was familiar and strangely unfamiliar at the same time. Since the age of 18, I had been dying to get away from my place of birth (not an unusual feeling at that age). I never fully revealed this intense internal desire. Secretly keeping my dreams of wanting to be in other places was my way of avoiding the slightest hint of rejection.

I took small steps toward experiencing other places by traveling as a young adult to larger US cities outside of the homogeneous northern plains. My intuition taunting me to expand my horizon. However, doing so in a slow and deliberate manner as a means to ease my mindset into other cultural variants. A way to prevent blowing me…

Michelle Lindblom