Moving self-care into community care

I have been feeling it ya’ll. The need to be with people who nourish me and encourage me to grow and love more. The feelings have been strong and meaningful but without true definition.

From the times our sons and niece were babies, Warren and I raised them in a village of loving friends who served alongside some family members. They were admired, nourished, held, prayed over and encouraged to live their childhood out loud. I was grateful that I could depend on the village to give us some downtime without worry and happy that our children had these precious people in their lives.

When COVID shut down, capsized and completely changed the way that we all live, I got caught up in fear, rules and a virtual existence that excluded real community. Because of the gravity of the change necessary to literally stay alive, I did not notice what I was missing right away.

But now… those feelings.

Two days ago, I saw a headline that said self-care needs to include community care and it really spoke to me. I am a huge advocate for taking care of and taking time for self. Many of us have started to do that regularly although there are still too many who have not given themselves the time or permission to do this even in small doses.

For myself, it has been a constant source of stress relief to incorporate the many ways of taking time for me that I have found in my life. But the ache of something missing has gotten stronger like the way my body aches when I have missed too many workouts at the gym. I need to stretch, I need to move and I need community care.

Recognizing that true community is good for so many things that ail us and then seeking that community and all that it can offer is a way to take care of ourselves. Communities can provide love, support, solace, sage advice, fun, collective mourning and peace of mind.

Communities can rise up to correct the ills of a society that is experiencing an ugly resistance to the change that must come.

We need each other.

Stretching self-care to incorporate community care is a building of strength that can carry us into both familiar and new territory. We are coming back together and that is great, but are we coming together to intentionally build communities that truly care for each other?

I think we must set our intention to do that or we will continue to lose each other in staggering numbers.

The kids are grown and are still held by our village. Late night calls for inspiration, sage advice, I love you texts, hugs and gatherings filled with lots of love and laughter strengthen our bond. We have lost some precious members, but even in grief that community has surrounded us and we continue to see each other through.

I am stretching my self-care practices to incorporate time for community care. I crave it. I need it. It is helping to make me whole.

How about you? Are you willing to stretch?

I hope you can.

In Love,
Dr. Lynne

Share This with Others!