Sorting through a stack of books, I encountered a small, thin volume written by a dear friend of mine several years ago. As I leafed through the pages I was struck by how many of his words had embedded themselves into my being. He has been gone now nearly five years and his voice remains present in my life. He was (and is) a wise soul, with a warm heart. His presence was never prescriptive, but often transformative.
Often the greatest times of healing and transformation are when we are supported by people who care for and love us unconditionally. Whether we are in a fortress of denial or a pit of emotional messiness, they hold space for us, as we are.
Reality hits with hectic schedules, running from event to event. Work keeps our minds (if not bodies) busy into the evening hours. I don’t know about you, but by 9:00, I am nodding off or already in dream world. We are surrounded by lots of people, but not necessarily those who know our story and can holding us up when we feel like falling over.
Author Parker Palmer offers a definition of community I find helpful: “Community does not always mean living face-to-face with others. It means never losing the awareness that our lives are intertwined…”
The demands of life remind us of how much we have to do instead of how much we need each other. On the days I wonder if I will be able to keep up with life, (and there are times where I wonder that a lot) I am encouraged by Parker’s words. Community is made up of those with whom we have decided to do life. They are the people who are there with a listening ear of love and they are also the people who will call you on being blind or clueless to your actions (or your b.s.) and love you anyway. Knowing there are people in our lives, who regardless of the obstacles of full calendars or far distances are there for us lowers our stress and strengthens our resilience.
The truth is we are more likely to restore and heal with a strong support community than if we are isolated and alone. As you walk through this week, consider who is in your community of support. Who are the people who listen you into wholeness? Distance does not matter, nor does a full calendar, rather it is those with whom you have decided to do life.
So, go do life.