Belonging to a caring, supportive community has many positive benefits to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Whether it be your neighbourhood groups, faith, or cultural community, the power of a strong support system can enrich your life and give you valuable relationships that can impact your life. Through community, we can overcome even the biggest of hurdles.
A strong community is about surrounding yourself with people to whom you have some sort of common ground and connection to keep you from being alone.
Community is impactful as it’s our human nature to connect. We are wired to relate with other people and be social. To embody your community is to honestly know its power in your life. Without understanding the importance of community, you’ll miss the benefits of finding unique and sincere connections.
We use the word community often, but what do we really know about the meaning of community? The word community suggests communing and common unity.
It’s easy to call a group of people a community, but what makes a community is the strength each member gives and having a core understanding of why your community has come together.
Here are some factors of a strong community
- Sharing common goals, values, ethics, morals, or hobbies
- Being inclusive
- Having agreed upon rules
- Fostering friendships inside and/or outside the group
- Actively contributing
- Being part of a bigger idea or vision
- Working collaboratively towards a short term/long term goal
- Something that is built and maintained over time
Communities are complex, but the benefits of being a part of a community are endless. But also note just because these groups exist it doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you and your needs.
Being part of a community is a commitment, like any relationship. Invest in your community like any other relationship because you get what you give in those scenarios.
Here are some excellent examples for you
- A religious or spiritual group
- An online or in-person professional community
- An online or in-person creative community (art, writing, music)
- A gender-specific group
- A therapeutic group
- A group-specific to a hobby of yours
- A parent / mum / dad community
- Your neighbourhood community
In the twelve stages of healing when stage 12 arrives it is said “we come to true community when we’ve healed enough to share our gifts, including the wisdom and understanding gained through our healing journey. It is also a stage in which we continue to the process of learning and discovering through interactions with others.” Donald Epstein.
Therefore, a community is more than just being social. It’s not just about gaining friends. It’s a staple to our lives and where we can go and find stability in easy and hard times. Because of this, and those who show compassion, we find ourselves connecting and becoming stronger.