Today I want to talk about something that I have personally struggled with and have lately come to realize just how powerful it really is: COMMUNITY.
If you don't know, I work for myself so I spend A LOT of time alone. I'm the type of person who enjoys me time...I like being by myself. I don't get lonely easily, so it's really easy for me to go weeks without investing in genuine community. I'm also guilty of carrying huge burdens on my back without asking for help. "I can do it." "I don't need help." Sound familiar?
Let's back track a little bit - what exactly do I think of when I hear the word community? Simply put connection with others.
Lately I've learned just how important it is to regularly immerse yourself in community. Community isn't a luxury, it is a necessity. We are created to live amongst one another sharing thoughts + ideas. We are created to love + communicate with one another.
After working for myself for about 3 years, I realized just how warped my sense of community became. I found reasons to avoid people, preferring to stay in by myself. It really took a toll on my mindset. I found myself often anxious and easily irritated. I felt a void that no amount of me time could fill. My husband lovingly reminded me that I excluded myself from true community. He explained how important it is for me to get out of the house, step away from work and school to-dos, and spend time with my friends - with the people who love and support me. And HELLO I needed to get out and love on/support them, too!
Since being intentional about surrounding myself with a solid community, I've experienced so many positive changes. I'm happier. I'm bubbly like I used to be. I laugh more. I think more. I love more.
How have I made sure to maintain a sense of community in my life? Lots of ways, but my favorite way is meeting up with friends at a local coffee shop. We order our drinks (AML for me, of course!) and just sit together. No phones. No timeline. Just conversation. It does take some effort - you have to schedule it in and be committed to it. But it really does trickle into other areas of your life making everything brighter and better.
Know that you are needed by others and that you need others.