Being Part of a Community

Liz and Jennifer in their Gift Shop at Samantha's Cafe with my pillows and potholders in the background

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.

9 thoughts on “Being Part of a Community

  1. What a beautiful message Maria. I lived many years in doubt and uncertainty.Toxic vs. Healthy. Losing myself in others or situations. Denial vs. Honesty. I’ve learned so much with some expert “teachers” and think I’ve finally got it too! Boundaries are great. Self-preservation is ok. A wise man told me,”Your job Cindy is to be happy.”
    I love your thought that being known by just one person,is enough for a lifetime.Thank-you for this wonderful blog.
    PS:The pillows and potholders look like they just live in that setting.Beautiful.
    Enjoy this w/e, Cindy

  2. So well said, Maria! I have felt the same as you about getting involved with groups and you brought it to the point very concisely…”It’s about having boundaries and participating only in ways that I feel comfortable with and good about.”

    Your post today has voiced the direction I want to take in putting myself out there. Many thanks for this.

  3. Very well said, Maria! I agree with Suzanne in that you brought it to the point very concisely.

    You are a wonderful role model…

    P.S. I love the potholder!

  4. I am so enlightened by your thoughtful philosophy, Maria. Many thanks. And I love this pic of two great ladies in their shop with Maria’s art surrounding them! Annie

  5. Very well said, Maria. In my 50’s I have found a community of women friends that I never had before. It was intentional and deliberate on my part to seek them out, as I had realized there was a big hole there. Terah

    1. I think that’s just the way it works Terah, you have to become aware of it and then find what you want. I do think what ever that is, is out there. You are an inspiration.

  6. Thanks so much, Maria, for the wise comment that once we are known by one person, we can’t be unknown. Today is 6 months since my best, oldest friend died of an aggressive cancer, and for quite awhile all I could see about her passing was that now that person who knew me is gone, so part of my foundation in life seemed to be gone too.

    But, recently, with the help of some very wise perspective from several sources, I’m realizing that what she nurtured in me cannot be so easily erased; and that the best tribute to what she taught me about self-care and self-knowledge, is to keep building on that, to grow in understanding and to be part of a healthy community, as you’ve described.

    I will keep that simple thought in mind as I go forward, what a gift it is to have been known by this most caring and intelligent of friends. What good fortune to have had her in my life for 28 years. Thanks again. Annie

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