Building a Community

When I moved to my new house almost two years ago, I had no doubt that God was leading me somewhere new. It was in an area I had never considered living in before, but it was a place I knew that I could easily grow to call home.

My idea of home is that it’s wherever I am. I can feel at home whether I’m in my own house or traveling in another state. I think the key is to be comfortable within yourself. If you’re comfortable with who you are, where you are doesn’t make such a big difference because it’s not your location that defines you, it’s just a temporary address.

Over the past two years, I’ve seen many changes in my community, and by this I don’t mean the physical stuff like neighbors or streets or buildings. I mean community as the circle of people we gather around ourselves at various times during our lives.

I’ve noticed my community is growing and expanding. I don’t have just one type of person in it. There are my musical colleagues, my students, my husband, my friends from church, my family, and people I share volunteer work with. Each group enhances my existence.

I have seen my horizons widened and my mindset shift. I’m not as restricted in my thinking as I used to be, especially when it comes to God and the universe. I truly understand that God is immeasurable, and no judgment I make about one person or another has any relevance to their own experience of God or universe. My God is not everyone’s God, but my God is no better or bigger than anyone else’s. God is God, and my way of relating to the divine won’t fit everyone else’s.

This community didn’t just “happen” to me; I had to take an active part in building it. You can’t move anywhere new and just expect everything to come to you. You have to step outside yourself, open yourself to other people. Some will open themselves in turn to you; others won’t.

So today and every day, I make it my goal to be open. What can I learn about someone else that I didn’t know before? For instance, if a husband is going on and on about his wife who is ill, I could respond by thinking, “Oh, I wish he wouldn’t keep talking about this; he always talks about this, like no one else has anything as hard as he does”. Truth be told, I’ve thought these things.

But today, I caught myself and thought, “Man, if I’d been married for a long time and loved my husband deeply and had spent many years with him being sick, I’d be just as sorrowful and needing other people as he is!” It took my breath away.

I may be building a community of my own to help me if I ever need support, but this person needed that support right now. It’s amazing where lessons come from, and I think one of the greatest roles of our community is to act as our teacher. There is just as much give as there is take; we just have to be mindful so we know when to do each one.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family and Friends, metaphysics, spirituality

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