“We’ve got you, and you’ve got this.” “We all have times when things don’t go the way we want them…this happens to everyone.” “You’ve come so far, celebrate that success.” On a day where I was feeling low and I decided to reach out for support I was blessed with these words of encouragement and many more from people I had only met six-months before.
First, let me say it was not easy for me to admit to this group, or to anyone for that matter, that I was feeling sad. Something I had put my heart and soul into just wasn’t going as planned. In the past I would have isolated myself and just sat with it by myself, but today I decided to take a chance and put it out there.
Six months ago I became part of a group. We have different paths, we live in all different areas of the world, but we share a connection through having a common interest. What that interest is doesn’t matter, what does matter is the community I have found in surrounding myself with people with similar goals and interests.
Throughout this time I have watched, listened and participated as we offer each other guidance, suggestions, and comfort as well as celebrate each other’s successes. What I admire most about this group is their willingness to step out and hold each other up; to allow themselves to admit when they need help; and most of all provide a safe environment for anyone to bring forward what they truly feel. To collectively create a space where individuals can feel secure enough to share their vulnerability is a group effort, and one that I am grateful to be a part of.
So on the day that I felt stuck, I faced my fear of making myself vulnerable by sharing my inner thoughts and fears. What I was met with was more than I could have ever wished for. It made me realize a few key things:
- It is invaluable to find a group or groups that you can be a part of where you feel supported and safe.
- Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and share how you truly feel in a safe environment you can find compassion that is not available if you hold things inside.
- Community is not just where you live, but can be formed anywhere when people have the desire to create one.
I am fortunate to be a part of a number of great communities who support different interests of mine. I extend great thanks to the community that supported me this day and that continues to be a great source of inspiration, and to all the other communities I am a part of.
If you are looking for communities to be part of, here are some things I suggest you keep in mind:
- Identify groups that you feel connect to your interests or needs. While local groups may be available, don’t dismiss virtual groups as well.
- Make sure the group is one where you feel comfortable and safe.
- Contribute to the community – what you put in you will receive back.
What communities are you part of and how have you participated in them? How did you connect with them? Share with me below.