What Do We Do If We Get Hurt in community?
I have been there.
Not knowing what went wrong.
Wondering if I was the issue.
Replaying the event over and over to try and figure out what I did.
Getting hurt in a community is common. It doesn't make it right, but it does mean we are not alone when we struggle with togetherness.
We are a collection of humans that misunderstand, are undergoing growth and can become frustrated with each other.
What I have learnt about community through my many, many problems and scars from it, can maybe encourage you not to give up quite yet, or, to embark on a journey to discover the people who you can truly do life with.
That’s start at the beginning.
What is community?
I have become aware that I was shielding myself from people getting too close.
It was as though I was wearing a garment sown together by the thread of past experiences and encounters with people.
Some parts were sown together with positive thread. Some parts were held together with negative strands making the protective layer, which I used to navigate relationships.
I came to a point where I felt that the jumper or garment of past experiences was too heavy to continue to wear. I was no longer able to keep my walls and boundaries up as my inner self craved friendship with safe individuals.
The thing about clothing is at some point there will always be a loose tread somewhere.
The loose thread can be different things to different people.
It can be hope that things will get better.
It could be determination to continue and succeed.
It might be self love and regaining confidence.
The loose thread is a weakness to the garment but a strength to the wearer.
The loose thread is a way out.
I had to choose whether to bind up the garment with the thread or let the jumper be pulled and unravelled.
I choose to let the heaviness be taken from me.
One thread at a time.
One experience at a time I allowed positive interactions with people, worthy of investment, to take away the heavy protective layer that I had worn for so long.
Through hope, determination, confidence, love and openness we can throw off the things that oppress us.
We adapt to our surroundings because of our experiences, but just because I had a bad run with people didn’t mean that I was useless and not good enough to be someone’s friend. It just meant that I was designed to be in a community that had an ‘all in’ mentality. I was made for people that wanted forever connections. And not only that, they wanted me around.
It took me over 30 years to find it.
It took me years of wondering.
It took me years of self doubt.
Years of loneliness.
Years of heart ache.
Years of rejection.
But it also gave me fruitful friendships.
A warm place to come and gather with others.
Encouragement and well built friendships.
And the appreciation of arriving where I belong.
All of which was worth the pain.
All of which wouldn’t of happened if I didn’t go through the rejection.
All of which lead me to the people I now call, ‘my community.’
We all have one made for us.
We are designed to be part of something, somewhere.
We just have to find them.
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Be sure to check out our next article here on ‘The Encouragers Life.’