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We Need Community Now! 

We humans are such interesting creatures.  We have so many variations of thought, philosophy, values etc. occurring in different cultures all around the world.


In this country, we have largely, collectively valued independence.  We have our infants sleep alone in cribs in bedrooms away from parents or caregivers.  We teach our children to be independent sometimes to the point where they are not physically capable or mentally / emotionally ready for what we are asking of them.

 

For those of us that are a little older, we might remember messages growing up of “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” a common phrase meant to indicate that you have to be strong and take care of things yourself.

 

While a lot of these family of origin messages were made with good intent, a lot of mental emotional damage has occurred from these messages as they fly in the face of what we know about biology, physiology, brain function and health.  We are designed to flourish in the company of safe others.

 

While we certainly can find contentment alone, ultimately, we  humans need other humans. When we are in the company of safe others, our physiology shifts- we produce the happy chemicals in our brain that tell us all is right in the world.

 

When we are alone too much, or with the wrong ( psychologically unsafe) people we actually produce stress hormones like adrenalin, nor epinephrine and cortisol.  Over time we can end up down the road of depression, anxiety or suffer in other ways both physically, mentally or emotionally.  When we are around people who are toxic, it shifts how our body and brain feel and function. 

 

It is not just a matter of being alone or siloed too much, but also who we spend time with at home and at work matters greatly.  We actually influence one another’s biology.

 

We are created to thrive and that means we need safe others.

 

For those that are single or unattached, this does not mean you must be partnered – what it does mean is that it is to your benefit to seek out safe others. That could mean close family, friends, your church or faith group, or your good friends to spend time with.

 

Why? Because we thrive with community.   With the right people, community offers connections.  It offers to fill the parts of our soul that may feel lost, lonely or alone.

 

Community offers Hope, Support, Connection and other things that we don’t necessarily get when feeling alone or siloed off from the rest of the world. 

 

When in business, community is imperative.  We need others who are on the journey of entrepreneurship- people we can collaborate and create with, dream, plan and bounce ideas around with.   We need the camaraderie of other business owners who we invest in and who invest in us. That may look like sharing a word of encouragement or a hardship story and how someone got through it, that can serve to inspire us.

 

We need community on so -many-levels.

 

In this country, often the nuclear family is siloed.  We may have kids in school or teens in activities and a parent or parents who are just trying to keep up.  Often families have lost this idea of community within the family structure.  Parents often tolerate kids on their phones or screens all day, or constantly doing their own thing where the only family activity is  sleeping under the same roof.

 

How do we change this… because clearly how we are doing this isn’t working. Kids who are anxious and depressed have become commonplace.  Parents who are strangers to their kids and kids who are strangers to their parents have become the new American norm in too many households.

 

We need community even in and especially in our families.   How do we start to turn this tide?  How do we go from surviving to thriving?

 

We need community within our families and then in the actual broader sense of our actual community.

 

Let’s not wait for the next disaster, the next emergency or the next critical event – personally, or in our city or country… we need community now.

 

It starts with you.  Today reach out to that kid you haven’t had a real conversation with in too long and tell them you want to know them more.

 

Arrange a time with your child young or old and go away from the house and create some meaningful time together. Take a walk, go on a hike, play a game, go to lunch…

 

Ask questions with a curious tone, and then just listen.

 

Look to your faith and ask how you might become in greater communion with what that means to you.  Look past rules, rituals and religion to ask yourself what really matters- because it’s the relationships you have both vertically and horizontally that will make the difference.

 

Consider who you want to increase meaningful time and conversations with…a family member, an old friend or your sweetie.  Community starts at home. Get out of ruts and intentionally show up differently, in ways that matter.

 

Then look outward.  Where can you plug in?  Where can you go” to feed or be fed” physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially?

 

What resources are in your community for you to plug into?

 

How can you expand your life into a place of beauty and richness not because of money, not because of how independent you are, but because you are willing to get out of your own self imposed silo and re- engage with people and life!

 

Opportunities abound.  Seek them out.  Be willing to initiate.  Be willing to be open and curious about who and what is possible.   Consider all the gifts you have and who and how you might share them with others.

 

Come meet your community, this Sunday at KITSAPFEST at the Silverdale Waterfront park from 10a-3p.  Let this be the beginning of beautiful community connections for you and   have a little fun while you’re at it! Learn more at www.livewellkitsap.com/kitsapfest-comm.

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