The Power of Community

When Family Isn't Enough...

Family – that’s a powerful word, isn’t it?  What comes to your mind when you read that word?  Is it a happy, warm feeling?  Is it sadness?  Perhaps you recently lost a family member, like me.  Anger, perhaps?  Families tend to bring out the worst in us sometimes.  They know us (or think they do) better than anyone else.  I keep hearing that family is important, and I believed that, raising my kids with that idea.  Now that they’re grown and on their own, however, it seems it doesn’t mean what it did for me when I left home.

When you create a life around your kids, then they leave home, it leaves you feeling a little empty on the inside.  You wonder, why did I even have kids?  Well, maybe it’s different for you.  For me, I never thought in a million years that I would feel the way I do.  I have 3 kids and only 1 of them, my son Bobby, stays in touch with me.

When he’s home for a visit, we have a great time together – laughing, sometimes even crying together.  I can tell you for me, it is pure joy.  I even got to watch him take his first flying lesson a couple months ago.  I was honored to be invited to participate in such a memorable occasion!  He was fulfilling a long-time dream of getting his pilot’s license.  Watching him take off for the very first time (in very windy weather) sent shivers up my spine and my heart was celebrating along with him.

Bobby comes home as often as he can; its about every 3 months or so.  I had been the sole caregiver of my parents for the past 12+ years.  My dad passed away in 2010.  Mom had Alzheimer’s which presented me with lots of new challenges on a regular basis for which I needed to create new strategies to help her (and me) get through.  It was hard work, especially as the end drew close.  Mom passed in January this year (2018).

Suddenly, my life has completely changed!  For the first time in my adult life, I have no one to take care of; no one is depending on me for anything.  There is a sense of freedom in that, but I’m also in very uncharted territory!  It’s time to re-design my life and that means creating new relationships, finding new experiences, and learning new things to enjoy.  I’m ready for all of that!

I created a new Facebook Group – “Healthy Alternatives“.  We’re a small, but growing group of folks that are passionate about healthy living, building a business, or just love hanging out with happy people.  It’s a community of like-minded people that support, encourage, and motivate each other.

Community is a powerful thing.  The relationships we build with folks in a community can be the fuel that keeps us going when new challenges appear.  Those same relationships celebrate your victories, no matter how big or small, and always encourage you to be the very best you that you can be.

You simply can’t do life alone.  We are not designed to live that way.  Cultivating new friendships is truly one of life’s greatest joys.  If your happiness meter is registering a little low, seek out communities where you can cultivate new friendships.

It doesn’t have to be a Facebook community, like mine.  It can be a community in your local area, such as a church, a school, or a networking group.  There are lots of places where you can find community, but the first step is the one you have to take.  Just make sure it is a community of folks that share a common mindset that resonates with your own.  Otherwise, you may feel like a fish out of water.  Think of ways you can contribute to the group, and what you want to gain too.  It may be knowledge, support through a crisis, how to handle a situation that you’ve been through.  There are countless ways you can contribute to the right community.

Happiness is a direct result of the relationships we have with people in our lives.  For me, I had great joy taking care of my parents.  I had the opportunity to get to know them even better than before they came to live with me.  Now that they are both gone, I’m filling that void with new relationships in a community I’ve created just for folks that care about health, wealth & happiness.  You’re welcome to join us!

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