I like to write. I am a word person. I like mantras, symbols, metaphors, cliche sayings, "bumper sticker" talk...all of it. I enjoy writing and I also use writing as a tool for self discovery, self expression and to process all the stuff going on inside my mind and heart.
These days, I am on a journey of self discovery. I've read a few blogs lately that have inspired me. A few days ago I decided to reflect on a few words as to remind myself of their importance within my daily experience.
In addition to all of these words representing a common theme, I've realized that they are FOUR CONCEPTS that represent a way way of living - a way of being.
For me, togetherness is a word that represents a very present way of being with others. It's one thing to be together physically - in the same room, hanging out, etc...but "togetherness" connotates a very aware presence that I am being with you and you are being with me. This applies a lot with family time. I am trying to be very mindful during the time I spend with the family that I am present, aware, in the moment, taking in the experience and also giving of myself in that time. It's a mutual exchange that leaves all feeling "full."
I love this word. It's application in my life is more about a way of living...so a verb rather than a noun. I want to be a person of community. A person who is mindful of others and their experiences. I want to invite others in - not exclude them. I desire to learn from other people's experiences and to share in our life's journey. I believe that we were created to be people of community. I believe we all have so much to share with one another...if we could just get beyond all of the barriers we have built out of self protection that prevents us from doing so. I want to teach my children to be people of community. I also desire to give back to our community; again, it's a mutual exchange. I also love the idea of sharing ideas, thoughts, perspectives, etc...and believe that within a community, diversity is crucial - diversity in ALL realms.
This word is special to me at this point in my life. It identifies a group of people to which I finally feel comfortable and "at home" with - hence "my tribe." It is simple, yet has such a profound affect when you actually feel you have found your tribe. I believe we all have this longing deep within us to belong, to be wanted, to be accepted, to be known in our core and to be loved. Finding my tribe has allowed me to exhale and begin to let people in again...I am learning to trust again, to let people love me (the real me) and to be vulnerable. It's hard...and it's a process.
This is an interesting word. Growing up in a fundamental Christian home, this word was always associated with some church event. "Potluck held in the fellowship hall after service." or "Come and fellowship with our new Pastor." I always associated it with religion. I have learned to create new word associations and now I have embraced this word. At this time in my life fellowship is again, about an exchange. Don't forsake the fellowship. It's the relating, the knowing, the understanding, the listening, the laughing, the caring, the fun, the crying, the crazy, the helping, the serving, the mending, the holding, the praying, the encouraging, the "seeing" of another fellow.
So, for today, I am going to allow these themes to marinate. They represent who I truly am and what is important to me. I want to be mindful of these each day as to not get distracted by all of the "stuff." May we all find ways to seek out togetherness, to be people of community, to find our tribe (or if found, to truly allow ourselves to be known - and to know others, and to NOT forsake the fellowship.)
More to come on this journey of self discovery...