Healthy community. We need to talk about it. The world we live in now is well, pretty much unhealthy and for a lot of reasons.
When we turn on T.V. we find all kinds of unhealthy shows. We look at the news and it is filled with dismay and pain. Our families and friends are in unhealthy situations. We are surrounded by toxicity in all forms.
When I first heard this term “healthy community” some time ago, I wasn’t quite sure I got the full meaning. I knew that our local communities, where we live, needed to be healthy functioning communities. But, I am talking about healthy personal community amongst women. You know, those relationships we women have within family, church, work, friendships, etc. They need to be healthy. But how? We all have our “stuff” that makes up our lives. Frankly, some of that is not too healthy.
Yet, we need to be diligent to find these good relationships and nurture them.
How healthy are you in this area? How healthy are your women relationships? Have you really thought about it?
I did but, I didn’t.
Here is why…
All Or Nothing
As women we tend to just go along to get along, with everyone. We tend to be the fixer of problems. A lot of us go and go until we have no more go left. We sort of put up with and in unhealthy situations for a lot of reasons. Some that make no sense at all, but we do them. Then we have those women relationships that we just tossed away for all kinds of reasons. We just don’t put up with ‘her’ anymore… we don’t call. We are offended for all kinds of things. And we just walk around like all these broken relationships don’t matter. But they do!
I know what you’re thinking, it’s either hard to find healthy friends and they don’t exist and the few of us that have them, well, we got lucky. No. None of that is true. They do exist and it’s not luck.
Finding good friends and forming healthy friendships… is it pure luck or something more?
You have to work at, nurture and be intentional about personal healthy community for yourself. I had to do this. As I was going through an unwanted divorce, I lost so many of my friends. Even to this day, I am not sure why. But, one day I realized wow… I’m alone where did friendships go. That is not how I wanted to live. Then, I thought I have always seemed to struggle with women friendships. But, so have a lot of other women. I think it is something that we, as women, will always suffer with.
I was beginning to think I was a horrible friend or person. What did I do? Then I realized it is not all me. A lot of us women, for the most part, do not know how to be healthy friends. If that stepped on your toes I’m sorry but it is true. We have a hard time in friendships.
I thought about this for a several weeks and wondering did I do my part in the relationships I had that were now gone. Did I nurture it? Did I at least try to? I kept trying to figure out why women have such a hard time in relationships with each other. There is such a power in women to heal yet we miss it sometimes. The very thing we need in a friendship can be right in front of us and we miss it. Why? Honestly, I still have not come up with that answer, but I did come up with ways to stop it.
3 Ways To Cultivate A Healthy Community
There are several ways, but I want to give you three, so that you are not bogged down with this concept and can move into healthy community with other women you know.
1.) You be the healthy community you are looking for.
Be as healthy emotionally as you can be. Work on your own thinking and emotional well-being. If you know you have personal issues that need addressing, stop running from them. Deal with your inner issues and resolve them. Get help. Seek counselling. Seek a mentor. Do whatever you have to do. Deal with the things that you keep sweeping under the rug or ignoring. It will only help you to be that person you want to be and for others.
2.) Seek out others.
Don’t live life in isolation. That is not healthy. Don’t be afraid to be with other women and talk and share. Join groups or invite others over to your home. Go visit someone. Take a friend to lunch. But, don’t live behind your emotional wall. Trust that you are healthy enough to be a friend.
3.) Don’t judge.
This is a big one. Women tend to judge other women. This is such a no-no and painful at best. Women are struggling and doing a lot. You don’t walk in another woman’s shoes. You don’t know why she made the decisions she made. And you have no clue why she is the way she is. Or even know that “way” you are judging. Stop it. Stop trying to change your friends. Just accept her for how she is and realize she may actually be right in some things she is saying to. Try and find out about the woman you are judging. You may be very surprised what you discover.
I have been so mis-judged by people and it really hurts. You think you have a friend in someone and then it turns ugly. I have been left in shock and wonder about some women in my life. I have been told off to my face about something that I said or did that was never intended to be taken a certain way. And I have been judged for my personality. We have to stop this as women. We need each other.
The Bottom Line
Healthy “personal” community is vital to the growth of you as a woman and as a Christian. Only in love are we blessed with true friendship. That will take hard work and transparency. Be the source of the thing you want in your own life. Take a risk.
Be a healthy community within yourself. That is where it will start.
What About You?
Have you been struggling to cultivate a healthy community in your life? Could you improve in one of the three areas I mentioned above? Or do you have your own tips, thoughts, comments, or struggles to share? Join the conversation in the comments below.
Do you want to cultivate deeper friendships in your life? Check out these three tips from Stephanie Carter
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