This Is What It Means To Find Your People
How can we possibly begin to adapt ourselves to a world that is constantly telling us what we should want, even if it's completely antithetical to our truest desires? This is a question I've grappled with during the past year in particular. For most of my life, I felt independent and confident that the decisions I was making were not based on what others told me and instead entirely born from my own wishes.
Enter in: college.
Three short years ago, I began college with a very specific type of energy and intention. I was coming from a really emotionally-charged year and attempted to heal myself through social interactions. Not necessarily the deep, late-night-conversations-over-tea social interactions, but the watered-down ones that begged me to cake my face with makeup, put on a strappy top, and spend my nights engaging in half-hearted conversations about classes, hometowns, and mutual friends.
This type of weekend fed me for a long time. It made me feel important and included and part of something big. But it fed me in an incredibly superficial way. I've found that often, these temporary fixes end up damaging our spirits more in the long run because they do such a good job convincing us that they're the answer we've been looking for. We can stop searching in self-help aisles and medicine cabinets to seek absolution from our insecurities. Instead, we find them in certain spaces that help us forget, that help to catapult us away from dealing with our darkness.
So where does that leave us? How can we know where to go from here? How do we find community?
It took me a really long time to figure this one out. "Community" has become such a big question for me. What does my community look like? Is it okay to outgrow the community you're in? Can you belong to more than one community? With so many questions, I found myself expending so much energy trying to find some clear-cut answer that I was ignoring what was really within me. When I just sat back and took a breath it came to me: community is a space where I feel safe and lifted.
I was listening to Jordan Younger's "Soul on Fire" Podcast with Britt & Tara of High Vibe Livin last week and they landed on a conversation that really struck a chord with me and flows nicely with this idea of community. It delved into the idea of energy with one huge takeaway: spending time with people who lower your energy does you both a disservice. Choose higher vibrations and allow people to meet you there, don't lower your energy, and pull others out of their darkness to join you in your space of light and love and elevated energy.
Seeking community means that you come to people with everything you have: your kindness, your honesty, your vulnerability, your strength, your empathy, your lack of judgement, and you ask the same of those around you. It means that community may not truly be community if you're having to use social lubricants like substances and surface-level conversation.
Community should be an honest space. And that doesn't mean we all have to sit around holding hands and singing Kumbaya.
It asks that we search for spaces that feed us and encourage us to heal others. That can mean going out and dancing or it can mean staying in. It doesn't matter how or where or when this takes place. It just encourages us to reach a place where we fully embody ourselves.
So seek community with an open heart. Leave judgement and any preconceived notions of what community should like behind. Be open to whatever it may be and if it feeds you, trust that you are exactly where you need to be.
featured image by Shop Sweet Things