Zoom has become a daily feature in my life, much-needed yet disquieting. Yes, I long for connection with others; I am cheered when I see beloved faces, each in a tiny box, fill my desktop screen. Like my daughter Melissa, I, too, have observed that although each dear F/friend or family member is contained within such a small space, my loved ones’ spirit, their energy expands far beyond those few pixels. But to state the obvious, this virtual connection has its drawbacks—especially if you’re facilitating. Or, as my daughter Christina recently discovered, are being interviewed for a job!

Recently, however, Zoom taught me something about group dynamics I hadn’t fully understood. At this past week’s Wednesday night sharing circle, because of a poor connection, I was only able to hear about a quarter of what was said. Wanting to remain in (virtual) proximity with everyone, I just looked at person’s face frozen on my screen. I held each person in the Light. I listened to their garbled, as-if-underwater messages with love. “This is what it’s like to be deaf or hard of hearing,” I told myself. “I feel so left out!” Duh.

Cut off from what was said and therefore unaware of what themes or ideas others had been building upon, speaker by speaker, when it was my turn to speak, I declined. It seemed arrogant to simply talk as if the others hadn’t. To insert my words into something, something real, something organic, something the group had collectively created. Whatever had been woven by that gathering seemed precious. I didn’t want to tear it.

And because I’d fed off another kind of vibe that night, mysterious and love-centered, my silence was the right thing to do.

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