We weren’t meant to live life isolated, alone, and without community. I don’t care who you are, what you do, or what your personality is; you were made for connection and belonging.
“We are hardwired to connect with others; it’s what gives meaning and purpose to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”
– Brene Brown
I know it’s hard, especially when you have no idea how to even begin finding “community” or friendship. I know it’s hard when you’ve been hurt or burned by the people in your life you thought were “safe”. I know it’s hard when you’ve been rejected. I know it’s hard when you’re consumed with life and can barely keep your head above water. I know it’s hard my friend, but I truly believe with everything in me that we weren’t meant to live life alone. I truly believe that out of all the things we can invest in, people are the most important.
Years ago, I listened to a podcast where the man said something I’ll remember forever. He was talking about destiny and he said, it doesn’t so much matter where you’re headed as much as it matters the people that you have on your bus. I feel like in our current culture there’s so much focus on “my”. My dreams, my success, my calling, my goals, my destiny. Don’t hear me wrong on this, because I’m all for tapping into the queen that you are and for going after life without apology (because you are a QUEEN (I see you KINGS, yes, you too)). BUT, let’s not forget the value of we. Let’s not forget the value of making decisions based on relationships: the value of choosing people over success, and the value of making sacrifices for the people that we love.
I don’t know about you, but wherever I arrive, I want to arrive there with my people.
To find real community:
You have to risk trusting. I’ve been betrayed by people I trusted implicitly. I gave them my whole heart and they turned out undeserving. Betrayal is painful, and some of you have been betrayed by the most important people in your life. I’m not belittling how difficult it is to put yourself out there again; but my friend, we have to keep believing that connection is worth it. I’ve taken the leap again, and even though it was scary at times, it’s so so worth it.
Tell shame to shut-it. Listen to me, because this is important: whatever voices are telling you that you’re unworthy of belonging are LIES. Not only are you worthy, you are wanted and needed. There are no disqualifications, and sister you are just who we’ve been waiting for.
Community requires investment. Friendships are like a garden. So cliche’, I know; somebody smack me. It’s true though, you can’t neglect them and expect to have amazing, deep relationships. You can’t, period. Friendships require regular investment. They need love, sunlight, water, and weeding. (Which is why all my actual plants are dead, btw). I know for sure that for my friendships to be deep and connected, they REQUIRE my attention.
Yes, you do have time. I know you don’t have “extra” time. I know your life is full and overwhelming. But you DO have time to send a text that says “how are you today?” You do have time to sit on your porch with a bottle of wine when the kids are asleep. Get creative. If it matters to you, make the time my friend.
You have to think outside of just yourself and your needs. I’m not talking about having no boundaries. For me it’s God first, husband, kids, and then close friends, but I still always consider my closest friends when I make big decisions. My closest friends are a priority and they know it.
You have to commit. You don’t have to commit to everyone. You get to CHOOSE, but when you find those people that are a good fit, you need to “get serious” if you want best friends and close community. I wouldn’t answer just anyone’s midnight phone call, but you better believe I’d be up and ready in a heartbeat if it was one of my close friends.
We aren’t meant to be islands. We aren’t meant to be one-woman-shows. We are meant to do life together in community, in tribes, in sisterhood, and in families.
I just believe we are.
My friend, please remember (wherever you are on this journey): there’s always hope. There’s always the first next step. Even if you’re lonely, you are most certainly not alone. I’ve been where you are sister and I promise, if you start trekking into this wilderness, it will be so worth it.
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