We all need community.  We need friends and acquaintances and a social network with a variety of connections in it so no one person is expected to do and be everything for us and we can get all of our needs met, since we’re not islands and not necessarily meant to be self-sufficient.  Add or subtract the amount of social interaction you need in order to feel good and be healthy.  The recipe is infinitely variable.

In my work it’s a relatively common thing to work with people who for one reason or another are not as connected to their tribe as they would like to be.  Some haven’t been able to find them at all and feel amazingly isolated even in a crowd.  Others have been told who their tribe is and so they struggle because what they’ve been told is absolutely wrong and they’ve been an ugly duckling in a flock for far too long.  Others create community hoping that it will be a tribe only to find that its a committee that either implodes or turns on them.  Unless it simply won’t go without their constant attention and leadership which causes it to be less a community and more of a child needing care.  *sigh*

The one thing that all of these people seem to have a blind spot for is that everything they are doing is one way – outwards.  It’s as if their tribe is someone stuck in an inaccessible jungle which requires an expedition to find.  “You have to gear up, prepare for every contingency, then be in the best shape of your life and even then you might not make. You might not get there ALIVE!!!”  Or their tribe needs to be created from scratch and everyone is just standing around waiting for them to break out the plans and start directing the work.  Or that they need to buy their membership in the tribe through proving their worthiness with good works.  😛  What about the other half of the equation?  What about the tribe that wants to connect?  What about all the gifts the tribe wants to give, all the blessings it wants to bestow?  If we’re so busy doing and proving and creating, how can we accept?  If we’re so busy adventuring trying to find other people, how can be available to them when they come looking for us?

The common thing I have found in all of these cases is that the person feels they have been waiting forever and never found their people.  What I point out is that if they aren’t out in the world being themselves loud and proud, doing what they love, flying the flag of their passions high and proud, then it’s impossible for their tribe to find them.  Whether in person, online, through social media or even smoke signals, if we aren’t showing up we can’t be seen, if we can’t be seen we can’t connect and if we aren’t being ourselves there’s not much to connect with.  Don’t wait for the tribe to come invite you to be yourself, be yourself so the beacon goes out into the world: “I’m here!”