Who Makes Up Your Community?
Our community is made up of all of the people [and fur babies] we love and treasure. We trust each tremendously. They support us and we support them. We come together in times of triumph and in times of sadness [and really any other occasion in between!].
This last week has been the most difficult week to date with my dissertation process. It felt as if I were walking through a mine field, with every step filled with worry it would blow up in my face- and it did, three times, THREE TIMES! As you can imagine it has been nothing short of an anxious roller coaster with all of the variables out of my control. I did what I could to self soothe and manage my anxiety while being realistic about my goals. I continued to remind myself why I began this in the first place.
While all of the above helped me somewhat from literally losing my mind, it was my community that made the difference. I reached out and cried. I reached out and shouted. I reached out and got real honest with myself. I processed with them out loud.
Not one of them tried to tell me what to do. Not one of them insisted I HAD to do this or SHOULD QUIT. Not one of them minimized the excruciating stress I was in; they listened. They held space for me and offered some perspective when I asked.
There are times when we reach out and unfortunately we aren’t met with what we need. Sometimes we aren’t met at all, just ignored. Or their impression of what we need is more about what they need. You can gently remind them what you need and give them another chance, but then that should be it. To be a part of a sacred community [or my garden as I refer to it], one must be willing to show up and participate accordingly. Every so often, I may begin to realize someone isn’t showing up even when I am. Perhaps they aren’t respecting my boundaries that I have made clear. When this is the case and I have given them their last chance, it’s time to weed my garden. I kindly remove them and continue to go forward in life.
It is this weeding that has allowed me to have the community I needed this week. Had I allowed others to crowd, my experience would have been much difference. When we can choose those who create our sacred community, we can create the loving support we need. It allows us to know we can depend on others while they know they can depend on us. When you connect with others on a deeper level it allows the two of you to feel with one another, to empathize, and to have intuition. Case in point, yesterday I received an unexpected phone call and text within minutes from two special people in a moment when I needed it most and neither had any idea what I was going through. This is true community.
So I ask…who makes up your community? Is your community loving, supportive, and reciprocal? Or, is it time to weed your garden?
Until next time…
Dr. Lily A. Zehner, MFT-C is a therapist who specializes in sex, intimacy, and relationships. Her private practice is located in Denver where she helps others reach their fullest relational and sexual potential. To learn more about her and her services, please feel free to take a look around her website.