The Importance of Community

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Community – a word we don’t hear much more in every day life, but a word that I think holds the power to drastically change your life or at least your outlook on life.  I find that as I continue to grow, heal and move away from my negative relationship with food, and continue to strive towards happiness and joy, I continue to (nicely) get slapped across the face with the importance and significance of intentional and meaningful community.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where face to face communication and deep, grounded relationships are being tossed to the curb for the quick and easy communication techniques such as texting, tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming which are all summarized by the amount of “followers” and “thumbs up” you have as opposed to actual friends you see from week to week.  Now don’t get me wrong, those all have their places and their advantages –

but for those of us trying to feel fulfilled or those who are actively seeking out joy and purpose in life – I would say that a lot of those lonely or “stuck” and defeated feelings that lead to poor habits around food are rooted in a lack of community or a sense of lack of community.

That may sound confusing or whimsical, so let me unpack that a bit for you…

What I mean by that is as human beings we were created to live in community.  We were not created to go through life alone.  Think about it.  Any other species of animal has a pack, swarm, flock, herd that they run with.  Why would we be any different?  To add on to that idea, as humans, we seek and desire acceptance, love, admiration, and camaraderie.  All of which you need actual human interaction to attain.  Now I also don’t mean to imply that we should all go out and see how many “friends” we can find in a month that agree to go to the movie with us every over month or get coffee once every 3 months when it’s convenient for both parties.  That is almost as defeating and meaningless as a world of only social media and technology driven friendships.

What I mean is a small group of people who REALLY know you.  They know your story, your struggles, your dreams and can tell when you are having your high days or low days or when something just seems off.  

They have seen you at your peak of vulnerability and didn’t shut down or divert their attention elsewhere – in fact, they welcomed it with open arms.  THOSE are the types of people that are your “tribe” – your community.  Those are the people that are going to get “down and dirty” with you when life gets chaotic and ugly.  Those are the people who will drop everything when you call them and say that you need them immediately.  Those are the people that will fill you up with joy and ultimately encourage you to become the best version of yourself.

Now let it also be known that putting the effort in to finding those people and fostering those types of relationships is hard.  It’s uncomfortable.  It’s like a weird combination of dating someone and going through therapy simultaneously.  It takes a ridiculous amount of intentionality and effort which seems to feel more and more inconvenient the older you get.  BUT, the beautiful part is that when you put that much effort and energy into something and someone, the byproduct is an indescribable feeling of fulfillment and joy that cannot be replicated.  It’s as if your soul takes a deep breath and relaxes because, finally, someone gets you and you get them.  Imagine if you had this group of people.  What would that feel like?  How could that change your outlook on the “crappy” things life throws your way?  How would you feel about really going after your goals?   

Having that type of support and knowing you have that type of support would mean that you could take on anything that came your way with confidence and vigor because you know you are not alone.  

You don’t have to figure out the hard stuff all by yourself – you can turn around and have a group of people to help guide you to the right decision that best suits you.  I LOVE that!

I have decided for some time now that I will not settle for an “ok” life, I want to have an amazing life filled with joy and happiness.  And the older (and maybe wiser if we are going with the whole Buddha reference) I get, the more I realize that the only way to make that happen is to get off my butt, grab life by the horns and start making decisions that SUPPORT and foster that vision of my life.

With that being said, I am choosing to find the energy, effort and avenues to find those people and build those relationships.  So far, it has been the most rewarding and eye opening process I’ve embarked on.  I find I am being blessed and “fed” in ways that I didn’t necessarily know I even craved.

I hope this encourages you to take a honest look at your community and to really think about what you crave from that community and if you are getting it.  If you are, that is wonderful!  I would challenge you to continue to build in to those relationships.  If you’re not, what are you waiting for??  Start being more intentional, make a plan for how you are going to start changing that landscape.  By all means, it’s YOUR life – you deserve to live it to the fullest and to SHARE it with people who love and care for you!  As always, if you feel like you need more support in this area, I’d love to have a conversation with you!

Phew!  That was a long one, but that’s officially all I have for you today folks, hope you enjoyed!  🙂  Post below a step you can take to start growing your “tribe”…I’d love to hear some new ideas!

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