I didn’t have time to write on Friday because I was going away for a couple of days. However, I looked to The Gypsy Mama for inspiration because she does this wonderful exercise every Friday called Five Minute Friday. She gives us a one-word prompt, we write for 5 minutes with out editing, backtracking, or straining our brains too hard. Her word last week was “community”. I thought that this was an appropriate word for my theme here, particularly because community is such an essential part of overcoming anything.
Forgive me while I write for longer than 5 minutes, edit, backtrack, and strain my brain on your behalf.
People don’t live in a vacuum. You were born to two parents (whether you lived with them or not), numerous relatives, people lived in your neighborhood, went to your schools, played in your backyard, and so on. You were born to be around people. You were born to a community.
Communities can be good, bad, indifferent, caring, insufferable, long-suffering, unexciting, thrilling, dangerous, safe, in any mix of characteristics. Generally, community has some unifying characteristic that other people tend to use to describe that community. Communities can be any size or shape. Communities are the people with whom you spend the majority of your time.
When you are born and under your parents care, you don’t have any choices in the kind of community in which you live. When you get older, you get to choose. Sometimes we choose the opposite of what we lived with as a child, sometimes the same. The right kind of community can help you flourish, too much of the wrong kind of community can stunt your emotional growth until you become a dry-husk of a person.
For myself, community has been one the most important aspects of overcoming all the crap I needed to overcome. People around me sometimes brought things up to my line sight were I could recognize them for what they were. Other people listened to me. Some counseled me. Thoughtfully chosen people prayed for me. Some told me hard truths, while other’s helped me pick up the pieces and let me cry on their shoulders. These people helped to shape my character into what it is today.
I need community.
And so do you.
Think about who you spend your time with. Are these people helpful? Are they honest with you? Are they nice to you? Do you feel good about yourself fairly regularly around your community? Will they be there for you when you fall down? Think about it. If you cannot answer yes to these questions, then perhaps it’s time to make a change. Perhaps it’s time to seek out a more loving, nurturing, fellowship of people.
Changing from what you know to something new is difficult. But, no one ever said that change was easy. It’s hard. It can feel lonely at first. It can be scary. It can be frustrating. It can be…any number of things. But, these things don’t have to be reasons not to try. They are only temporary obstacles to go around, over, or through.
You NEED people around you to be supportive. You NEED people to be honest with you. You NEED help sometimes. You NEED good community.
Go ahead, look for it. Don’t be shy.
Tell me about your community…