There has been a lot of suffering in my family and community lately. So far this year, we have lost our nephew, and another nephew is struggling with anger. My brother-in-law and step-father both had heart surgeries. Friends and businesses owners have had to close their businesses due to low sales. The list goes on and on.
When you look out in the world today, the news is filled with struggle and disagreement. For me, when this happens, it is easy to get down, feel depleted and recluse into the safety of my home. I need more sleep, and I want to hide from the world. In a way, this is self-care for a while. And then it turns into hiding, and at times checking out thoroughly.
The worst part is that the more I hide, the worse it gets. I feel stuck and like I am dealing with everything alone. Then I get snippy with my family, judgmental with myself and others, and tired… oh so tired.
I believe in self-care and not the stuff they sell you in commercials—the kind of self-care of genuinely listening to my needs and acting on what I find. And I’m here to share that self-care isn’t the only answer. There is something we need that is in itself the highest form of self-care!
When I’m struggling, what’s the first thing I do? I cut myself off from people! I hide from the very people in my community that are my support!!! Cancel lunch dates I made knowing I needed a break, and stop communicating, often I don’t even text. I’ll lock myself in my house and do all the things that work against me. Netflix, social media, staying up worrying instead of sleeping. Oh, and the good old… not getting out of bed!
Next, I will eat more foods that are hard to digest. A full stop of the exercise, yoga, and meditation I know I need. The very things that keep me okay!
Why we need community!
So, what have I learned… AGAIN? It’s that I need my community. Everything I mean everything is easier when I face it with my community!
Thriving isn’t just about feeling rested and ready to take on the world. We need people to share it with, celebrate it with, and support us when we struggle. That friend who will tell you to take a damn shower—that friend who will stop the story in your head and remind you of what matters.
The laughter and fun as we visit with friends and play cards. We need to feel like we can contribute and make a difference, and we need to feel like we belong! And quite frankly, we need to get out of our own stuff, and do something for someone other than ourselves.
Why our community needs us!
I used to believe that it was taking up space when I called for help or to share as I cried. It was selfish that people were busy, and they would be frustrated. Boy, was I wrong! You see, it is in helping others that we can see our strengths. That we can see ourselves making a difference. Where we know that we matter! See our skills and strengths.
The truth is our community needs us JUST as much as we need them!