This entry was written by Michael J. Formica, MS MA EdM, Editor and Project Coordinator for LBBC who, as a mental health and education professional with more than 25 years of experience, also blogs regularly at Psychology Today.
During the month of January and in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary, Michael has committed to writing follow-up blogs reflecting the emotional appeal of the blog published the day prior. In this blog, Michael explores the concept of community suggested in Lisa Marsella’s I’m ready for 2011 — I hope it is ready for me.
Creating and cultivating community is one of the most positive things that we can do for ourselves. Whether through shared interests, group activities, common experience, or long-standing social relationships, community provides us with a powerful and empowering sense of place. It is a reliable sanctuary that supports us in strengthening the threads that we weave into the fabric of our lives.
The sense of shared experience that community provides also reinforces for us the feeling that we are not alone, that there are others who understand, and understand us. No matter what the universe decides to toss in our path on any given day, we can rest assured that here, in this particular place, in this particular moment, we are safe.
The communities to which we are attached also ground us and give us a place from which to start. They are a refuge against the storms of the everyday that refresh and renew, bringing us back to ourselves and our own sense of worth. So, too, in celebrating our communities and the relationships that they sustain, we are also celebrating ourselves. That celebration gives voice to our personal value and affirms for us the potential for joy that we can squeeze from every moment.
And there is another community, too – one that we often tend to ignore, or, at the very least, overlook. That is the community of self. It’s just as important for us to cultivate and maintain a connection with ourselves as it is to stay connected to the communities that surround us. Cultivating and maintaining a connection to ourselves deepens our connection to the people in our lives, strengthens our relationships and enriches, not only what those relationships bring to us, but what it is that we bring to those relationships.
Create, cultivate, celebrate — because you get what you give.
Do you have a community that you relied on to help you get through your breast cancer journey? When did you realized that having a community was only one part of healing? When did you build your very own “community of self?” Comment here or on our Facebook page.