A WORD ON COMMUNITY
One of the most dramatic changes which takes place early in the therapy process is an increase in self and other-awareness. We begin to see patterns in our own lives that need changing. We see our own self-destructive tendencies. We see how we have brought pain to others, and acknowledge how we have also been hurt by others. As these insights dawn on us, we begin to soften our hearts and open ourselves to change.
The humility which self and other-awareness makes possible is the soil in which true community can grow. When we accept ourselves and others as humans even though we struggle and sometimes fail, we can become far more gentle with ourselves and with others.
Being in community is a crucial part of our healing and transformation. As we increase our capacity to be open, honest, and vulnerable with trusted friends, we will experience a depth of relationship and greater intimacy. This feeling of connectedness will become a powerful support for us as we continue to grow and heal.
I’m a big advocate of community and social support. I know it’s hard, especially when we’re feeling depressed or anxious, but it is crucial in our healing journey, and evidence proves it. When we are around people, safe people we trust, we feel more connected and less alone. We were wired to be in relationships and to be in community.
Developing a strong support system may take some time and require you to step out of your comfort zone, but as you open your heart to change, you will find it both helpful and enjoyable. You will see that you are not walking this journey alone, but instead, you are alongside a community of people who can support and encourage you towards healing.
If you are looking for a support group, there are different kinds of groups you can join, including a therapeutic group, community group, growth group, psycho-educational group, and many others. Please ask your doctor or therapist today about how to access a group in your area.