Two summers ago I remember wavering on whether or not to take a course. The material was interesting, but not new. I just wasn’t sure if there would be enough fresh content to make the investment of time and money worthwhile.
The deadline was drawing near so I had to make a decision.
Pacing around the kitchen I heard from out of the blue – “grow in community”.
Prior experience with the importance of messages arriving like this clinched the deal. I took the plunge.
Plus I was curious.
The past several weeks had been spent knowing something was afoot – some sort of change, the next phase or growth spurt was coming. But for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what. I wanted to know.
Now I did.
Or more accurately, I couldn’t deny not knowing any longer.
The clues had been there all along.
Every time a thought related to seeking out others or forming a community came to mind I quickly pushed it away. I was quite happy, thank you very much, learning and growing in my own little world. Groups start out great, but fizzle quickly. The
reasons excuses went on and on and on.
I fought the good fight only to end up exactly where I needed to be – in community.
All said and done, the course was good and provided fresh perspectives on familiar material.
The return on investment, however, wasn’t about time or money, but receiving two critical insights about the power of people in community.
Discovering you’re not the only one who thinks the way you do is powerful enough.
Being among like-minded people means you can start to relax, let your guard down, open up, be more of your true self.
Community deepens and something magical starts to happen.
Conversations slowly dip into “all that stuff” you can’t talk about with anyone else.
Fears, issues, concerns, roadblocks – the things that hold you back, drive you nuts or keep you awake at night find their way to the surface.
Being vulnerable to share so personally is far from easy, yet some compelling force urges everyone on.
Light bulbs fire off one by one all over –
“I’m not the only one.”
“All that stuff” we’ve faced alone … others have experienced too. Not always in exact circumstance, but the core resonates “Me too!”
We aren’t so unique after all.
Which means our problems aren’t either.
This isn’t personal anymore. There’s no nebulous vendetta working 24/7 to get us.
Being human, or the “human condition” as the instructor liked to say, comes with some factory default settings.
The wiring in our brains has evolved in a particular way.
Our growth follows a particular pattern.
The experiences we have come are part and parcel of being human beings, not from being less than, defective, incompetent or different in some way.
By knowing we’re not the only one, we can help each other navigate the highs, lows and sometimes boring in betweens along the way – if, that is, we come together so we’re not the only one.
(The second critical insight of coming together will be explored in a follow up post.)
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chief nudging officer
Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.