If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a town, or city to keep an adult on track. Growing our community means surrounding ourselves with people who support us. They can come from all walks of our life, they may be on the our sidelines, but they are they to help us when we need the help.
When my husband died a friend said, “don’t let yourself drown in pain.”
I told her “no problem, there are too many people holding me up, even when I don’t ask, I don’t think I can drown.”
While the pain didn’t go away and I continue to miss him, I am now embracing and enjoying life. The people in my life are the reason. They made life bearable at first, until I began living and enjoying life again. They continued to support and encourage until I reached a point where I could once again live and embrace life.
My community seemed small at first, although it was much larger than I first thought. Over time, more people have been added and together all of them help me stay on an even keel.
Where does the community come from, how do we build one and add to the one we have?
Our community starts close to us. The first part of my community are my family, my children and their spouses, my siblings, my husband’s siblings, and my extended family of nieces, nephews, and cousins. Not everyone has a great family to lean on, hopefully there is some family to start the community circle. Although, family does not have to be blood. One of my biggest supporters is a family friend. We’ve known him for years, he is not related to either my husband or I, but he encourages me regularly. Whether family is blood or not, they are our first circle of community.
The next layer are the friends and neighbors. Those people who have been a part of your life for months or years. They may be people you work with, people you met through your children, people you met through your spouse, or members of the same
A side benefit of having a community, is that we are also part of their world. We are able to entertain, encourage, and sometimes advise them. We are there for them, just as they are there for us. Sometimes helping someone else is the best way to help ourselves.