Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The meaning of community
I'm a little confused about community. About what it means to fully engage with more than one person. What people mean when they talk about their "tribe of soul sisters" or "their family of intention". I don't doubt the existence of these things, and am in no way skeptical about their value, I just don't know what it means for me.
I am blessed to have a small family, to whom I am very close. I am married to my soulmate. I have a handful of dear friends, individuals (and couples) who enrich my life with their love, intergrity and humour. Some of these friends I met at university, some through work, others through family... a small number through ads in the Readings bookstore window, looking for housemates! Even though we don't see each other regularly, the time we spend together is rich and meaningful.
A beautiful book arrived in the mail today. It is all about love, art and community. I started to read and was overcome with joy and sadness. The various contributors wrote about delving deep and doing "the work", about their lives unfolding, about growing into their art and their authentic selves... all the things that are at the forefront of my consciousness, and one of the main reasons for starting this blog. In fact, many of them mentioned that blogging connected them to the community that encouraged and nurtured them through their growth and transition.
It's not the first time I have read of this phenomenon. It leads me to wonder... is it possible for me? As a closet introvert, I usually shy away from groups. Even Mothers Group, a gorgeous group of kind, clever and fun women and their sweet sweet babes. I come home from our catch-ups and beat up on myself for performing and/or withholding, and silently comparing myself (usually unfavourably) to other women. That said, I've been privileged to forge close bonds with a couple of individuals in the group. Even though I've only known them a short time, we've been able to celebrate the the joys, acknowledge the aches and honour our fears in such a powerful way.
So, in a way, I guess I have answered my own question. What I would really value is real and initimate bonds with individuals who are also growing into their authentic and artful life.
Which leads to the real question: do I have the courage to find my community? Do I love myself enough to state my intention to the world? To truly believe that I have something worth saying, worth hearing?