A lot of comm(unity) has to do with finding people who not only do we get along with but people we can put our trust in. If we can trust other people with the small things, we can get to a place in our friendships where we can share the bigger things. It takes time to get there, time invested combined with love, love combined with reading between the lines without judgment.
I can read people pretty well, granted I have a background in Psychology but even before that I could easily figure out who was telling me the truth and who was bullshitting me, but it was kinda easy, because well I once was a habitual liar and a bullshitter myself.
Growing up life was all kinds of hard (still is in many respects) and yet the cries of help offered to people I thought I trusted went unheard. Mainly due to who my family is in this community, people didn’t suspect that our pretty little “Camelot” was unraveling at the seams… It didn’t help that the church I was attending was very patriarchal in nature; that it was my father’s job this my father’s job that…but if that’s the root of the problem, tough shit suck it up – rhetoric of this nature burned me up inside for this supposed community of Christians acting like assholes to my family and I.
I saw that I wasn’t able to get any tangible help and rather than hide my face from daylight I put on a new face, one that was a mask that hid the pain inside and yet appeared to be doing alright. I transitioned into a bullshitter and a habitual liar and it took time to “perfect” it and has taken even more time to undo it…but I’m getting there. Yet when I was in the mode to lie to everyone about everything, I was surprised at how people believed me, did you really think I got these marks on my arms from “falling off my bike”? It got me thinking that if I were ever honest with my situation, would people believe me and comfort me in my darkest moments? At that time I would have said NO, but today I say YES, and tho I can’t be transparent with everyone (outside of the fact that it’s not healthy) there are individuals who know my story and know what’s really going on in my life.
My transition to being someone who is honest with what’s really going on started when I went to college, within the first semester I got the sense of what comm(unity) should be and how it is lived out. Transparency was a key to a door I never knew before, because I was meeting and living with some people who really didn’t “have it together” and the people around them loved on them despite of flaws apparent and flaws hidden.
Within one semester, ONE semester, I knew this was a better way to live my life with people. One of my first moves into being transparent and real/authentic with others started with my parents, I worked up the courage to tell them about how I tried to commit suicide twice, I don’t really know how it affected my father but my mom broke down. I confided in some friends who I knew for the longest time and it was something beautiful, it has been something beautiful because they’re still in my circle of friends in this beautiful thing called comm(unity).
So today in my life, I can read the people around me like books, but I don’t hold it over their heads and I do what I can to help them and love on them. We were made for comm(unity) from the very beginning and I’m doing what I can make it. Transparency begets transparency and from there we can live as we were intended, with no shame as to what we’ve done and where we’re still struggling because we know there are people out there who truly care about us, who when they ask “how are you doing?” they aren’t asking this flippantly or without the desire to get a flippant answer. When people do give me the “good” or “fine” question, I sometimes question them with a “really?” because if the person I’m asking this is someone I know pretty well, an answer of that caliber doesn’t suit me and I want to know what’s really going on.
I urge you if you’re in need of comm(unity) I will do what I can to be here for you. Granted I’m not a 24/7 doctor who makes the occasional house call, but I CAN listen, I can pray, I can speak (but only if you want me to). I’m not the only one here on WordPress like that, but sometimes you need to test the waters on your own, to find a shallow end that leads to the deep end, and when you get there and you’re getting over your head I hope you find people who will rescue you and throw you a life preserver.