Building community is an important value of mine. Community has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me, even more so since the world changed and turned life upside down earlier this year- which is my reason for sharing why a strong community is important. I’m grateful to be a part of a few communities that have profoundly impacted my life, and helped me along the journey. Especially during all that’s going on these days- we know life is hard. If the challenges and burdens of life just won’t quit, at least we can find some others to share the load with. These are just a few of the powerful impacts and lessons I’ve found in community so far.
It hasn’t always come easy. I’ve had seasons where I’ve pushed away my community or tried to do things on my own strength. Pushing away from good community has never led me to be happy or move closer to my dreams, it has only left me feeling lonely and deeply distressed. When you find a community that loves you unconditionally, it changes your life - it’s a big part of living freely.
So much about community is cliche, but things really only become cliche when they’re universal truths.
Two heads are better than one.
We are better together.
Different gifts and talents make for a stronger team.
Don’t go it alone
We are not meant to do life alone. As humans, we are not meant to be lone wolves disconnected from a larger group of people. There is countless research surrounding the effects of human interaction and the impact of giving and receiving love from others. And really, we can never go it truly alone anyways- we are always reliant and connected to others through the food we eat, the products we use, the clothes we wear, the families and networks that have shaped us. So if community is unavoidable, why not go all in?!
Kick fear in the face
Fear can be a powerful thing, holding you back from becoming who you want to be. Do you ever experience fear of rejection? Fear of failure? We could sit here and write a list a mile long of all the potential fears that may be out there. One of the best ways to combat fear is being known by your community. Truly being known by a group of people without rejection is one of the most beautiful and powerful things that exist in this world.
I’ve experienced this personally and can’t imagine doing life without a group of people who love me unconditionally. No matter how successful I am, how I live my life, or what I do with my time - having a group of people that love me no matter what gives me the courage to go after life with everything I have not holding anything back! I know that whatever happens or that life throws at me, I’ve got a circle of people to help me through the losses and celebrate the wins together.
Especially when I’ve been hurt before in community or friendship, it can be easy to let the fear of being hurt again set in and keep me from being honest & real with others. Many folks say that “if you’re hurt in community, you gotta heal in community” and I’ve definitely found that to be true. Of course finding the right community for you can be difficult, but is it ever worth it.
Have you ever wanted to give up? I know I have. I’ve definitely had my moments of wanting to throw in the towel or feeling like I don’t have what it takes to accomplish my vision. If we are being honest with ourselves, I think we all have moments where we’ve felt like we don’t have what it takes to reach our dreams or to pursue our passions. A good community is there to support you in those times. It’s priceless to have a circle of people who will remind you of your ambitions and will pick you up when you fall down (again and again). They can believe in you in moments where it’s just too hard to keep your own hope alive, and remind you of all you’ve already overcome and achieved. The courage of your community can carry you- borrow it and keep doing hard things!
The (very-worth-it) cost of community
Community doesn’t happen by accident nor does it sustain itself. Being vulnerable with the people around you is essential, it’s a non-negotiable ingredient for real community. It can be terrifying to show who you really are and risk rejection from your community, but kick fear in the face and let the real you shine through. You might surprise yourself with how people respond to the honest, open you!
Author Alisha Esmail