Sometimes Community Finds Us

March 25, 2013

There are times to be alone and times to be with others and we all have our tolerances of both ends of this spectrum of need to be or not to be with others. That said, being social has been shown to be a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle and those that are part of a social network, e.g. community tend to live longer. OK  so much for the technicalities of the thought. If you are divorced and lose your network in the process as I did, finding a new one at middle age can be a challenge. And, if your family lives on the other side of the country or retires and moves away, the situation can be even more challenging.

FriendsThus establishing community is something that one must go after. Like many things, unless you work in a place where you can make friends that you see outside of work, and thus have a built in community, you have to consciously want to open yourself up to the opportunity to engage. As I’ve just mentioned, the workplace is one environment conducive for establishing relationships but it can be fraught with difficulties if “friends” becomes more than just friends. But that’s a different discussion.

Another good environment is one’s place of worship or natural locations of social interchange such as church, synagogue groups, or local Meetups.

A couple weeks ago I decided to attend a gathering at a local church even though I’m not Christian. The program included a potluck dinner, time for social interchange but also focused on seeing a movie about wild horses followed by a discussion session.  I found the location easily and joined a table that wasn’t yet full. As it turned out, the group at this particular table was mostly from Peru, Bolivia and Columbia as well as a few regulars from the U.S. Having been to Peru, I had some small talk to offer to the conversation although I did feel a little awkward not knowing anyone. They were, however, very welcoming and did their best to be inclusive. I found their attitude quite impressive. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised, after all, it was a church group and by its very nature, their perspective is to offer “love” to all. It was a nice experience for me after having gone to some other more secular groups that were more catty where I felt left out. Age, background, etc. weren’t important to these people. It was quite refreshing.

Then I had a really big surprise. When one said her birthday was coming up on March 25, I said that it was my birthday also! Next, one of the ladies said they (those that knew each other) were planning to gather at a local restaurant to celebrate the birthday and I was invited. I was overwhelmed! I barely knew these people and here they were inviting me to a party!

Well, true to form, I got a call a few days later from Rosie inviting me to a gathering on Sat. March 23 at 6:30 pm. The timing was good since I was attending an ARE Program on Soul Growth at the Unity Church which was finished at 4:30. By the time I left the program and ran a few errands I was able to go to the restaurant right on time and meet the group for dinner. All in all there were 14 people with 3 birthday people including myself. I came to learn that this group tried to get together monthly and used birthdays as a way to do it. It was a lovely evening including having “Happy Birthday” sung to me both in English and in Spanish.

I wish I could say that my own family did as much for me when I went to visit the week before. Yes, we did go out to dinner once while I was there but it lasted an hour (family drama was involved). So without dwelling on the details, I’ll just say that the old adage that we can’t pick our families (unless you’re talking at the soul level) but we can pick our friends certainly applies. And in this situation, community certainly found me!


Tune on and Tune In

October 15, 2012

A couple nights ago, I was speaking to the woman that hosts the monthly local dance in my neighborhood who also sells dance shoes. I was speaking to her about the shoes, indicating how lovely they were, even though I wasn’t in a position to buy them. For the first few sentences, she was polite and then, suddenly, she just turned off. There was no polite phrase indicating that she’d given me her “ok my time is clocked in already at five minutes so now I have to move on”, just a shift of the head and on to the next person. My reaction was of total shock. Sure, she wanted to make a sale; but, it was a public dance and selling shoes was not the whole point of the program. For me, social interchange while getting some exercise was the real reason for attending that evening. As I read energy quite well, what I felt as this was occurring was like a door slamming in my face. I was in mid-sentence when she turned her head so it seemed like my words had been cut with a knife. Wow, quite a reaction.

The next night I attended another dance in a different part of town. This time the host was celebrating one of the regular’s special birthdays. Since I knew this person, I went over to tell her how great she looked and to wish her well. Again, this woman gave me a couple of minutes and then, without warning, she turned her head and started talking to another person. Déjà vu. It had happened again.

Now I’m really good with getting my messages so here was a similar situation happening to me on two consecutive nights. In both cases, I was looking for polite conversation otherwise known as social interchange. What indicator was I not reading from these people? It was obvious that they were not interested in continuing conversations with me, thus this behavior signals that these people are not my friend. Ok, I can deal with that. I don’t have to be friends with everyone. However, where have manners gone? Alright, perhaps I’m too sensitive. Did I merely overstep boundaries? Would a sentence or two have been enough, so that by the third sentence, they had tuned me out?

Well, now I realize that I’m over-analyzing. The fault isn’t mine at all; sort of. I’m picking the wrong people to try to have a conversation with. It’s all about the energy. Not just the energy of the situation but the energy of soul development.

Let’s look deeper at what’s going on here. In both cases, I went into the scenarios with the best of intentions just wanting to be pleasant and to enjoy myself. In both cases I was totally snubbed. When we interact with those of lower vibration, it doesn’t go well since there is nothing with which to relate. That’s what was happening here. Both of these people just don’t care. They may seem to, but it’s not in there soul development to be concerned about anyone that’s not on their priority list. And that day, it wasn’t me.

However, I stop and try to help people when they come to me, no matter who they are. And, if I need to step away, I will offer some polite accolade, “Excuse me, I need to …..” or “I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to talk to ….. before they leave”. If people are not polite, it’s because their soul development is just not where we are, pure and simple.

So, no more analysis and just consider the source. Turn on your intuitive capabilities and tune into your inner light. The answers of how to behave will always be there.

Meanwhile, excuse me, I need to go fix dinner.


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