I know that most, if not all of us have been the recipient of some sort of relational trauma, I want to acknowledge that it’s painful. Really, really painful. And it can be long lasting or permanently impacting. I’ve never been abused in the classic sense of being hit or physically wounded by someone who was supposed to care for me. I suppose if you count that little best friend brawl in high school, but that left no lasting wound. But I have loved as deeply as I’m capable of loving and felt betrayed and alone. I’ve felt maligned and rejected when I expected to be understood and intimately accepted. I can still recall the pain of that and how it tore at my guts, my mind, and my soul in the most persistent, unavoidable, and hope crushing way I couldn’t have previously imagined. Perhaps one of the greatest pains we are capable of experiencing is the kind that comes from other humans.
An invitation to participate in a Connect Coalition is also a challenge. This duality is not unique to a Connect Coalition. Every invitation to participate in something you were not already participating in includes a requirement to change if you say yes and the potential that you may miss out on something worthwhile if you say no. There’s no way to guarantee that the change or what you may miss out on is good. The only guarantee with this particular invitation is that you belong. That is the invitation and the challenge - to belong. Your identity is needed. It is of critical value. Your own needs are important enough to be met by your community. And our interdependence constructs a shared identity and a mission that requires all of us to accomplish something important together.
I'm going to post a new section of my book, temporarily titled "How to Build Connected Community," every week. I invite you to read, comment, ask questions, or share stories. Your input will improve the expression of our community voice. Thank you for being part of my community and joining me on this project.
We’ve got some big problems. The human race that is. All of us. These problems show up in every space where humans interact with each other or are supposed to. They show up in the way we interact with our environment and how we feel about ourselves. They show up in our mental, emotional, behavioral, and physical health. They’re complex and they’re not going to go away by ignoring them. They’re also not going to go away by continuing to problem solve in the same way we’ve been problem-solving so far. We can’t just respond to each crisis as it shows up. We need to be preventive. Or even better, we need to promote health.
I write about belonging, storytelling, community building, prevention, trauma, resilience, neuroscience, and epigenetics.