Community

The other day my head was screaming at me.  It was saying that I’m not as pretty as her, or have as lovely a home or as exciting a career. It was comparing my kid to hers, my husband to hers, her hair, her figure, her clothes, her jewelry… it was so loud in my head!

I prayed “God help me let go of this jealousy and comparison!” and still my head raged on. It was endless loop, “It’s a loop, it’s a loop, it’s a loop, ya’ll”.  Like that ear worm of a song that plays over and over and over until you hear a different song.

That’s what I needed! A different song! I looked in the mirror and told myself that I have a lovely________,  to combat the comparison stuff in my head. But the voice just changed from jealousy to judgement. Now my head was judging her!  Oh for the love of Mike! Give me a break!

green eyed monster

Just like on the game shows, I phoned a friend. I let the Green Eyed Monster run, without self editing. My friend listened, she didn’t interrupt. Once all the green guck was spilled out, she waded through it and came alongside me and started speaking truth.  She reminded me of who I am.  As she spoke I could feel my pieces come back together (as the yogis say). By the time we finished talking, I felt grounded. I felt like I had come home. My head was quiet.

It was the connection. The connection to my God, to myself and to my friend.  Instead of battling my inner demon alone, I reached out.

Connection isn’t a new idea. Humanity was meant to live in community.  Even the Christian God has three parts.   The 12 Steppers teach this too. They suggest that you talk to a sponsor, that you go to meetings, that you build a network.  In both the professional and  academic worlds, you get a mentor, form relationships with like minded people. Moms create mommy and me groups to get connected to other people in the same stage of life.  Being in community is part of being human, it’s in our DNA.

antelope and cheetaIt’s our inner demons seek to isolate us, to separate us from the pack.  Like a cheetah hunting an antelope. If the antelope stays with the heard, the cheetah can’t really get it. When it gets separated from the heard, the cheetah can out run the antelope, exhausting it until it just gives up.  We all have some kind of cheetah inner demon. Whether its depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, etc.  It wants to isolate us, separate us from our herd. This cheetah-demon will use any lie to cut us off from our herd.  It will tell us that  we are alone and that no one understands.  Connection challenges and disproves that lie.

If you are believing the lie, then reach out.  Connect with another human. Ask them about themselves. Try to understand them. If you look around and there is no community about you, then take some steps to create community.  Where are the people like you? Seek them out. Make connections.  Take action. You need people and the people need you.

Just for Today

When I start believing the lie that no one understands and that I’m unique and alone in the world, I will reach out and connect with someone else.  When my ego wants me to believe that I am better than, less than, or different than the people around me, I will look for our similarities. When my mind wants to compare my inside feelings to someone else’s  outside appearances, I will try to identify with that person and find common ground.

Prayer

God, I need to be in community with others. Break down the barriers that prevent me from human intimacy. Protect me from people who would harm me, and lead me to those who will help me get closer to you and grow as an individual.

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