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Building Community — 6 Comments

  1. Pingback:What is “community” anyways? » Rachel's Musings

  2. Being who we are, it’s hard to put us into a group. We’re not church-goers, we’re not part of a married couple that goes to couples dinners, we’re single parents; our very nature excludes us from being part of the accepted social norms of what makes a community.
    I can totally relate to this, and while I still struggle with feeling it from time to time, for the most part, what I’ve realized is I am lucky to know people and have friends in various aspects of my life. None of them “make me whole,” but then again, if I were completely like someone else, then one of us would be unnecessary. I usually feel grateful that I get to move from one group to another without compromising my own sense of self.
    And we are a part of a community together! Happy National Unmarried & Singles Week!!

  3. I would agree with Sarah that volunteering is a great way of creating community. There are two organizations I contribute my time to each year and out of that I have created a loving support system and some amazing friendships. Another way I built community was through my participation in the Landmark Forum which I began as part of my quest to be true to myself. I went through the entire curriculum and in the process gained lifelong friendships and began a process of self-discovery that continues. Also, a close friend offered me this advice when I asked what it would take for me to have the kind of friendship I wanted with a particular person in my life. His answer was simple, be friendship. I knew what he meant — whatever friendship means to me, be that. What came up for me was this … be loving, open, generous, supporting. This created a space for friendship to thrive in many directions where I had not seen before. I’ve taken that notion of being whatever I want in my life. Also, having a practice of gratitude and appreciation sustains me through all of my longings.

    • Thank you for your comments, Donna Marie! One thing that came up for me was my tiredness of trying! Unless i am completely misevaluating myself, i think i am “loving, open, generous, and supporting.” And, yet, i don’t seem to be able to build the mutuality into several of my friendships that i am longing for. Though that also is one of the learnings from my musings about this yesterday: I want to redirect my energy and focus on those friendships that already have some of that community feel and deepen them.

      The other thing that comes up: There must be something wrong with me that i can’t get this to work! Something else to look at because i am almost certain that carrying around a thought like that prevents me from opening up, presenting my authentic self.

  4. What kind of community are you trying to build, Rachel? I find volunteering is a great way to build community and find support. I volunteered for a fair trade store for 6 years before moving back to my hometown and I still keep in touch with my fellow volunteers/staff and I know they would have my back if I needed them and I would have theirs. For example, the husband of one of the staff has offered on numerous occasions to move furniture for me and I attended the funeral visitation for the brother of a volunteer.

    • Thanks, Sarah! That is very encouraging to read! And i realized, too, that it will help me to clarify what exactly i am looking for with “community.” 🙂

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