Since I have recently begun blogging, you know little about my approach to healing processes. Today you will gain one more piece of the puzzle: community. I adhere strongly to the belief that positive life change is most effectively achieved when we are in a community of supportive people. Supportive people are safe (they won’t go blabbing the details of your story to others, they won’t use it to hurt you). They are genuinely interested in you and your growth as a person. They are honest with you and kind in their delivery. They may even have walked in shoes very similar to yours. There are times when the community is short lived for a very specific purpose and might not possess all these characteristics.
My vacation is over. On my journey home, I am taking a pit stop in Indianapolis to attend my monthly one day training with Dr. John Townsend. I went through customs in Charlotte, NC. Something very odd occurs after going through customs in the United States. If you have a connecting flight, you have to leave a secure area to go through security to re-enter a secure area. Does that make any sense to anyone? It seems like one of the least efficient systems. So, upon finding the security line I realized there was not much of a chance I was going to make my connection. I had a half an hour and it was doubtful the line was going to cooperate within that time frame. I was not alone. Many of the people on my flight were also making connections in Charlotte. So there we were all lined up like cattle worrying about catching our flights.
When it was clear I was going to miss mine, I started talking to those around me about the inefficiency of this system. Others talked too. One woman said she regretted not buying Valium while she was in Mexico! That made several of us laugh. After we talked, I felt calm. I wasn’t alone. Others around me had also been concerned about missing their flight. We were finding support knowing that others shared our experience. We will most likely not see each other again, but for that brief moment in time, we were the community we each needed to get through our worry.
Our ideal community is going to be comprised of people we will know far longer than my “security line community” but the experience made an impression on me. I was reminded of the value of community in helping us process our experiences. It’s so much better than trying to keep everything to ourselves. We weren’t designed to carry life’s burdens alone.