As I sit here typing, my husband is watching a rugby match on television while texting his family, who is watching the very same game 9,000 miles away in South Africa. While I know he would rather have the in-person interaction with his family, his use of technology allows him to at least connect with them and have community in a way that wouldn’t have been possible not that long ago. It’s amazing how technology can help in fostering community!
Connection is important because being part of a community is an essential part of our human experience and especially the journey of healing and growth. Having others resonate and truly hear our experiences is a critical element in nervous system regulation. Our brains literally change when we share space with another and experience their mirroring, reflecting and validation.
For many people, emotional pain and brokenness was experienced in their original community: their family of origin. Attachments were insecure, and emotional development was not supported. So finding and fostering securely attached relationships with friends, therapists, pastors, and support groups, then, is necessary to help repair the emotional wounds that occurred earlier. What is broken in community gets fixed in community; developing a healing community helps repair the pain.
Some options to for community in your own journey can include:
- Joining a support group or group therapy
- Attending yoga or a relaxation class and taking a risk to talk to other attendees
- Going to a 12-Step group
- Volunteering at a nonprofit
- Taking a class
- Meeting neighbors
As we prepare to enter the holiday season, consider taking a step to enhance your community and foster relationships in your own life.
~Meghan Vosloo, LCSW