It’s National Dog Day in the U.S. and Lucy is here to remind you to go express love and appreciation to your favorite canine. Not only does your doggie friend give you love and affection, but he or she also protects your home from intruders — such as birds, squirrels, mail carriers and other undesirables who deserve to be barked at vigorously. Where would we be without that? And if you think this service is actually unnecessary, ask yourself how long it’s been since your home was the victim of a vicious squirrel attack. See? The doggie defense works. Keep barking at ’em, Lucy.
I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time over the last couple of years thinking and writing about love and connection. I’ve come to understand that this lack of love and connection is at the root of a lot of human tragedy and unhappiness, including addictions and depression. As I talked with others and researched the psychology behind the issues, I ran into the surprising fact that researchers are increasingly using psychedelic drugs to allow volunteers to have experiences which are giving them a sense of connection which they’ve lost — something that allows them to feel connected to love and God in a way they didn’t understand before — which is having dramatic effects in combating things such as depression and addictions. In this 15-minute TED talk — without an audience in the age of COVID-19 — Johns Hopkins researcher Mary Cosimano shares her experiences with guided psilocybin sessions being used to treat addiction, depression and end-of-life issues. One of her key observations is the importance of love and connection. She said that it seems love is literally part of the answer. In her role as director of guide/facilitator services for the program, Cosimano is responsible for training and supervising session facilitators.
It’s something I wrote four and a half years ago — in the desperation of loneliness — and it’s become my most popular article. It’s not my best writing. It’s raw and unpolished. But it seems as though a lot of people can identify with it. It’s called Missing someone creates intense physical sensations in my heart. Just to give you an idea how many people still read it, I had 11,586 people visit the page last month — from 2,907 cities and towns around the world. London sent the most readers for it, followed by New York, Westminster, Los Angeles, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto and almost 3,000 more. I’ve noticed something interesting. It always gets the most hits from an area of the world in the late hours, right after midnight, and that breaks my heart — because I understand why. All these people are so lonely and are missing someone so much that they turn to a search engine looking for answers, so they stumble upon this piece. I wrote this late at night on the day after Christmas because my heart was breaking. I needed to express how much I missed someone, and a lot of people seem to identify with it. If you’re one of those people, I have no way of knowing who you are, but I empathize with you. I know why you hurt. I wish I could do more to help. I hurt with you, because after all this time, I still feel the same way.