Some say that life can only unfold through our connections with others.
Our heart suffers when we’re living in isolation. And we’re currently living in a society that has exalted separateness. This has killed our community and has left us, collectively, with the pain of this separateness manifest in our hearts.
Separateness encourages a spirit of competition between us, gone is the ‘neighbourlyness’, the hearty togetherness of local living. ‘We want our privacy, we say’; society has encouraged this – putting up cameras and half-hinching our ‘data’, making us feel that we have things to keep to ourselves. Well, yes, Orwell’s Big Brother is an abhorrent concept (which we’re currently experiencing), but really what have we got to hide from those who want to look out for us?
Are we scared someone might…get to know us?! Might uncover our deepest darkest, most brilliant selves…!?!
Thriving in loving connection
We thrive when surrounded, supported and connected to others in warm, loving relations.
The linings of every single one of our blood vessels releases a little puff of nitric oxide when we have contact with others. This is the magic that causes our vessels to relax…to ease the passage of blood flow around our body and to enable us to exhale into that, ‘ah, lovely…’ relaxed mode – literally, hearty fuel to keep our vascular system healthy and happy!
And who doesn’t love those random acts of kindness (literally between kin) that make the world go round?! When a neighbour brings food round when we’re poorly…? Or offers to look after the cat while we’re away? Or keeps a friendly, neighbourly watch over things to keep us feeling safe and sound…?
Or being the deliverer and watching the joy light up others…
All of this is gold. Competition doesn’t have a role here. Compassion, connection and completeness are the route to wholesome health.
We’re supposed to be living and working and supporting each other in close-knit communities. Like the individual cells of a vital organ, things only work better together.
And yet we live our lives as islands. The ‘individual’ identity of the ego puts us in separation, which leads to ownership, to the ugliness of ‘I’m better than you because…’,
Yes, sometimes we have to ‘be brave’ and leave the fold. To venture to pastures new and to explore beyond ourselves. And it’s from here that we grow… But it was never supposed to be a forever arrangement. We’re supposed to fly back once we’ve spread our wings; with experience, knowledge, wisdom…
Or, if leaving was destined to be a forever setup, we’re supposed to nurture a new community to grow and thrive around us, in our new territory.
Not ‘me, me, me’. Not, ‘I’m the king of the castle’… That’s ego through and through, and the ego gets a good old kick from feeling that it’s better than someone else, that it’s more powerful…
There’s something quite humbling about living deeply in a community. You have to work together, you have to forge a path for the collective, you have to quieten your own ego of ‘I’ and rise up for the greater good of the whole… You have to let go of your airs and graces. Air and graces don’t work in a functioning community; they cause friction.
That’s not to say that you don’t have to iron out issues. We always have to iron out issues…it also helps us to grow into our fullest, loving self and anyway, what’s the expression? ‘We don’t have to be disagreeable to settle a disagreement.’
That takes work, it takes knowing thyself and having worked through your own ego-based concepts of ‘what is’ (and seeing that our individual sense of what is, rarely ever is…!), to understand that our real role is to be in the heart of the community. Because the community is the heart…
And we need it – to support us and to nurture us, to let us go so we can come back but also bring out our better nature…
Finding quiet in community
Now you may think this contradicts my previous post about the importance of quiet. Yet you can be surrounded by the heart-warming, nourishing love of a community, and still carve out space for quietness.
As with everything – we need balance, right?