When I reflect on the challenges and struggles I worked with in 2018, there is not one challenge or struggle in which I did not receive support. Not one. There was always an opportunity to reach out, to turn to, a friend and seek solace, understanding and love.
I credit this support with my commitment to my community. Whether or not I could have done it alone is irrelevant. I don’t want to do it alone. My life is so much sweeter and richer because of the people who are in it.
Is there another side to this coin? Of course! Making a commitment to community means you also agree to show up for others. It means that you listen and act upon the community’s agreements with each other and value each voice in the room.
By the way, this commitment is not always easy. It can be frustrating, especially if you want to move at a faster pace or don’t like what someone is saying. I definitely have felt that frustration.
I also have felt vulnerable, especially when I am being asked to show up in a way that is a stretch for me. As many of you know, feeling vulnerable is not always comfortable and can be downright painful, so yes, there is inherent risk in committing to a community. And…
I invite you to consider the risk but not run away from it. To recognize the gifts in community and to be brave enough to receive those gifts.
I believe this paradox, between the sweetness of connection and the obligation of connection, is one of our biggest lessons in life. May you experience both the joy and suffering. And yes, I said suffering. For how else will you know the sweetness which comes from joy?