I have a big dream for community. Don’t you??
Almost everyone I know has this dream – a BIG DREAM of living on land, in community with people you love and a huge garden – living in harmony with the earth, with people, with a new kind of human tribe and family. It’s a new paradigm vision and an ancient calling back to more tribal, interconnected and earth-centered ways of living.
It’s the new “white picket fence” – a calling to some sense of order, home and rightness in the world.
And, very few of us are living it.
We have a lot of old, mostly sub-conscious, wounding in community and family relationships and few containers for addressing and healing those wounds.
What interests me is – what will it take to actually live it, sustain it and grow the dream we hold?
A lot. Aside from the obvious architectural, financial, organizational and legal challenges embedded in community models, if we can’t heal the wounding that happens in community dynamics, we simply can’t build or sustain the dream.
I recently recognized (and not for the first time) is that the greatest obstacle to my creating and staying in community is the pain I harbor about past experiences and relationships. All the unresolved feelings I have about betrayal, abandonment, misinterpretation, my own and other people’s stubbornness and strong opinions, the boredom of meetings, the subtle undercurrents of sexual tensions and jealousy… these are all in in the way of me showing up with presence, curiosity, non-judgement, passion and willingness. These are all in the way of me feeling safe. And, because I don’t feel safe, I don’t behave in a safe way. I subtly control who I connect with and why, how much I’m willing to give, how much I’m willing to listen, who I’m open to connection with.
When these feelings and behaviors are consciously or unconsciously running the show, I don’t, at a core level, come from an empowered place in myself or from a fully integrated capacity to empower others. Ultimately, it comes down to TRUST.
- Am I willing to trust myself and others enough to fully show up?
- Am I willing to trust that there is space within the community to heal things that are unresolved?
- Am I willing to see others as myself and myself in others so that I can sit in relationship with presence and compassion?
- Am I willing to explore my charge and to discharge, disclose and clear that charge within the context of community?
- Am I willing to risk – again?
What if we explore trust and intimacy as THE central issues of the sustainability equation? Intimacy implies transparent, authentic connection that genuinely allows for an exchange of heart and mind. It implies being open to being changed by the other. It means you might get hurt. It means you might have to stretch. It means that all your family stuff might come up. And yet, it’s a risk worth taking. It’s the currency that makes things work – or creates road blocks, drama, dissolution and stagnancy.
This is all super timely… it’s the eve of 2012…. no time not to work together.
A suggestion for practice:
Take 5-10 minutes today to contemplate where you are carrying old wounds in regards to community.
- How do these wounds sit in your body?
- How do they they play out as attraction or aversion to people around you?
- How they play out in internal self-talk that takes the form of comparison, judgement, or putting people on pedestals.
- How do you shape your energy and attention to attract what feels safe and avoid what feels challenging, confronting or dangerous?
See what comes up. Embrace it. Listen to it. Just presencing WHAT IS will help you to make new choices about how you hold yourself and show up in community.
… in my next blog, I’ll share two practices that can help you (and your community!) to deepen, sustain and create lasting spaces for long-term continuity and joyful healing in your relationships.