I have been thinking a lot about community and what it means to stay in longterm relationship in community with each other.
I’ve been wondering what effects this culture, that we have co-created together, that prioritizes independence, speed, solitude, and mobility has on our own ability to be in community with each other.
On the surface all these things seem efficient but when I look a little deeper I see other things.
I have come to believe that independence is a trauma response. Trauma often makes us believe that the divine left us and makes us think we are responsible for our own survival.
We are all dependent on each other. We all breathe the same air. We all walk on the same earth. We all drink the same water. We are all always dependent on each other. Therefore I believe that the question isn’t if we are dependent but which way are we dependent? When we are standing in fear and lack we are co-dependent. When we are standing in love and abundance we are interdependent.
Prioritizing independence can be counter to being in longterm community. Someone suggested to me recently that they thought being their whole self meant that they didn’t have to be restrained in anyway. That might be true if you live by yourself but it’s not true in community. But the retrain doesn’t have to be a martyrdom kind of sacrifice. It can be a sacred sacrifice. It can be and offering, or sacred ritual to the promise of something greater.
Prioritizing speed squeezes out time and space that it takes to build and develop deep intimate relationships. It’s like the space in music that move it from being noise to being music. The space in between make all the difference. It’s the same way in relationships. We need time to being in the nothingness with each other to grow.
Let me start by saying time alone is important and healthy but we have taken this to a whole new level. Lots of us live by ourselves. Some of us spend hours alone in our cars in transport. We are spending more and more time on social media alone in front of a screen. And often because of shallow relationships we can even feel quite alone in a crowd of people.
My mother grew up in a family that had two parents and nine kids. She would say that there were too many of them to go to their friends house so their friends always came to their house. My grandmothers house always had people in it. I remember when I was growing up I lived close enough that I could ride my bike to their house and I always knew someone would be there. It was a house filled with three generations of family. When there is that many people around you learn something about living in community.
My children didn’t have this experience. Their two biological grandmothers died when they were little and I am my mother’s only child.
We live in a mobile society. Often we don’t live in places long enough to develop deep intimate longterm communities. I am moving into the empty nester phase of my life and am thinking about moving. I have been thinking about what it would mean to move to a small town. I miss living in a place where my butcher knows me and notices when I have been out of town. There is an intimacy in that.
My grandparents got married when my grandmother was 14 years old. They were married until my grandfather died in his seventies. I think they knew something about being in longterm relationship that most of us have forgotten. I think they also knew something about the balancing of the external masculine and feminine that we have forgotten.
Lately I have been hearing a lot about the balancing of the internal masculine and feminine and there seems to be a lack of understanding about the balancing of the external masculine and feminine. I think this plays a part in how way are able to be in longterm community with each other as well.