Building a sense of community, part 3: Rooting deep
September 15, 2017
You were made for deep connections in community. I might even suggest that establishing such relationships is imperative for success in the other areas of your life. Allow me to explain.
In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed a psychological theory still widely referenced today as Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs." His theory is often described in a visual presentation of a pyramid so as to convey the progression of needs that build upon one another. The bottom two layers are the basic human needs for food, water, warmth, shelter and safety. I think you would probably agree that these are foundational human needs. These needs must be met before a person is capable to grow into higher levels of functioning. However, it may surprise you to know that immediately after the foundation layers in Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs," is the need for love and belonging. Maslow actually suggests that prior to the need for success, accomplishment, or even creativity is your need for intimate connection with others. I have observed often those who have sustained accomplishment and success are those who have a strong support of family and friends. They have built their dreams upon a solid layer of deep connection.
So how do you deepen your connections with others? Perhaps we can look to a more modern social scientist and best-selling author, Dr. Brené Brown. If you have not yet watched her TED talk, I highly recommend it. The beauty of Brené Brown's research findings is that intimacy is built upon courage and courage is directly connected to vulnerability. As we risk in vulnerability to be our authentic selves, we allow others to do the same. This is how we progress our relationships from mere acquaintances to meaningful friendships. How are you showing up authentically in your relationships right now? How might you lean into vulnerability so others can get to know you better?
We also work to better utilize, thus strengthen, our community by serving one another. We invite our neighbors to dinner, offer help when needed, ask for help when needed, and generally communicate our support.
If it is time for you to take a step toward deepening your connections, I encourage you to reach out to someone today. Call that friend with whom you lost touch, invite some people for a meal, or go check out that group you have been pondering. If you have experienced a particularly hard season of life or just feel plain stuck, then you risk to gain the most from taking action. Yes, the first step may take great effort, but it will yield the reward of hope. You were made for love and belonging. You are an important part of our greater community.
Let me wrap up our series with this quote from Dr. Brené Brown: "It's worse to spend your life on the outside looking in, wondering what if, than it is to try and dare greatly and risk the chance of failure. Dare greatly; get in the arena and try."
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Come grab a coffee with me this Monday, Sept. 18, from 8 to 10 a.m. at The Perk in Winter Park. We can chat about community, share ideas, and just enjoy a beautiful fall morning. If there is enough interest, we may set up a monthly meeting and move around the county. You are also most welcome to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristyn Roe is a Grand County resident, and a wife, mother, dog and horse lover whose passion is serving as a counselor to help people in her community find healing, hope, and purpose. She can be reached at email@example.com.