I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of community and joining groups since yesterday. I’ve always felt there’s something appealing about being a part of a group. But it seemed no matter how many times I tried to be a part of one, I always felt like I didn’t fit in. It made me uncomfortable enough to make me leave.
But maybe I was looking for too much, in the wrong place. I wanted to be known, to be accepted and connected. Now that I’ve found these things in my relationship with Jon, I’m no longer looking for them. So being part of a group or community or even being a friend has a different meaning for me. Connection comes simply from the shared desire or mission or the group. Acceptance isn’t personal, it about whether or not you can work together. And I believe that being known, by just one person, is enough for a lifetime. Once you are known, there’s no way to be unknown.
So I see now that belonging to a group or community is about having a common interest or goal and working together in a way that benefits the individual and the group. It’s about knowing what I can do and can’t do, making a choice and being honest about it. It’s about having boundaries and participating only in ways that I feel comfortable with and good about.
In this way I can be part of the community without losing myself. And everyone benefits.