Why We MUST Be In Community

photo by Michael Julian Berz

photo by Michael Julian Berz

If we have been hurt in-relationship, we need to heal in-relationship. Enter the value of a tribe.

As we remember and learn to be ourselves on this human journey, we need the kind of tribe that allows us to make a mess, fall down, look foolish, fumble, even hurt others (accidentally of course), so long as we all stay in relationship and commit to working through it.

One of the roles of this kind of conscious community is to see us and accept us as we are. Our genuine allies in the group don’t need to buy into our mask or our strategies. We want them to believe in, and see, our wholeness and demand that. When we are unwilling to see ourselves and know our own value, we can ask them directly to support us there and love us outloud, reminding us of the truth of how they experience us. The trick of course is that unless they are working on themselves and can actively self-reflect honestly, their reflections will often support the very habitual patterns we are trying to transcend. A non-growth oriented community member will tend to collude with the disempowered version of us who habitually wears a mask, because that’s what they are doing.

Of course, the other choice in community is to keep wearing our mask. Then, we can indirectly and unconsciously subcontract our need for acceptance/approval

photo by Michael Julian Berz

photo by Michael Julian Berz

out to them without telling them. Doah! Then, when they don’t love us or appreciate us the way the hurt young one in us wants, which is common (and just the right blessing), we might get upset, hurt, and mad. Hopefully, that will continue to happen until we are willing to be the kind of adult that knows, and is direct with, our needs, or until we are able to love those places in us that we’ve agreed to dislike or hate. Then, at some point we can get back to, or learn, the direct, transparent route by starting where we are, rather than pretending from where we want to be.

As adults, it’s our job to love and appreciate ourselves, and when we are not feeling it, because those days happen, we can ask for folks to remind us that the story we’ve been telling ourselves (i.e. I’m not lovable or valuable) is a lie. Together we can listen deeper for the true story, THE story that aligns with all that we are. Our community’s job is to reflect that. Accepting ourselves where we are, as we are, is accelerated by being in-relationship with others who are able to help the real us come out. Soon enough these friends will probably be more drawn to us because we are facing the truth inside, rather than posturing over it. Eventually, in a conscious tribe, we can be ourselves, warts and all, and the community becomes not only a container for our development, but the vehicle for our awakening. Now the ember inside can turn into a flame as we come to remember, know, and trust, that we are indeed lovable, worthy, and beautiful just as we are.


  • John Brier

    Reply Reply June 10, 2013

    Wow. This is deeply spiritual to me. I know you are spiritual but you don’t use the same spiritual terminology that I have first learned these ideas from.. stuff like A Course In Miracles and Byron Katie. My girlfriend often says and I agree that all spiritual disciplines get at the same thing and you seem to be getting at it too.

    I love it. I have been experiencing this revelation myself lately. I had been trying to be more enlightened than I am, being what I believed an enlightened person should be like: Thus I was ignoring my “needs” as you call them.

    I had been believing that happiness comes from within and that we don’t need anything to be happy, but the truth is I do have needs and I believe that I need certain things to be happy. I wasn’t conveying those needs to my girlfriend and inevitably they would come out in a childish temper tantrum or outburst.

    I also realized that I had believed I couldn’t tell her about my needs or she would get upset, the truth is I can, I just have to do it honestly and without expectation or judgement of her.. I did it just last night and it was met with appreciation. Technically speaking, I didn’t even get my needs met when I told her but now I don’t even care that much.

  • Mitch Miyagawa

    Reply Reply June 10, 2013

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you so much for the last 3 posts (and the guest post as well). They’ve all resonated so much for me. You’ve written so well about the need for honesty that extends much farther than just our mates, to our friends, our community, and our children.

  • Durwin Foster

    Reply Reply June 25, 2013

    I don’t think I have read a better, or “thicker” description of how a healthy community container helps us to heal and grow than this. Thank you very much, Jayson.

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