From an outside perspective, building a strong community around you is healthy for us as human beings. There are actual benefits to our health when we are intentional in building these relationships around us. According to Northwestern Medicine, they see the benefits include:
- less stress and more happiness
- better healing from physical, emotional, and verbal trauma or crisis
- healthier behaviors because of increased confidence and self-worth
- increased sense of purpose and belonging
- a longer life that promotes healthier living
These all sound great on the outside and are great for you as an individual. Telling someone to do something and/or change something will only go so far because it’s behavior modification. In working with teenagers on a daily basis, I can tell a teen to not drink, smoke, do drugs, etc. And they might because they can see the health benefits for them physically and internally, but that can only last so long. When a teen figures out that they don’t want to create unhealthy relationships because of the hurt, the pain, the loss, the betrayal, etc., now we are talking about intrinsic motivation. They want it more than I want it for them.
In that same case, you need to want a healthy community around you more than I want it for you in order for change to take place. So, what’s your reason for desiring to build a stronger community? There’s an internal motivation that has to be activated for the logistical pieces to really take hold. Here are some reasons over the years that I’ve experienced and watched others experience:
- deep sense of belonging
- desire to learn and grow
- healthy relational behaviors
- healthier communication skills
- learning to be a better friend to others
- desire to be loved unconditionally
- longing for deeper conversation
- want to be known by others
Building community and relationships around us will be messy. That’s my promise to you! It will be messy and hard because we are talking about other people being involved. We know that other people are messy and hard and when we combine that with our own messy and hard stuff, it can be messy and hard to grow that deep, developed friendship, relationship, and village. BUT IT’S WORTH IT! You bring so much to the table and they bring so much to the table and together it builds a beautiful thing. To dive into more about what you bring to the table that you want others match, build, encourage, here are some great starting points.
It’s worth it to intentionally build and show up when we know our internal reason for the why behind it all. So what’s your why?