Authentic community is where we can start to work on our inner-being. Developing a safe space where we can be vulnerable and compassionate with ourselves and with others.
There is a lot of invisible pressure to be performative. And to live up to social standards of being. A lot of times, we think of high performance as working through our lunch break or pulling an all nighter, and getting kudos for how hard we work. Can we change that narrative to include more checking in? Can we begin to take the time to examine or sense, How am I doing? What do I need?
The questions become our magnifying glass toward regulation and self-care. They help us develop a greater sense of inner knowing, or mindfulness. Self-compassion, consciousness, and mindfulness are not luxuries for a select few. Instead, they are an open-access success strategy.
So many of us are riddled with guilt or feel embarrassed for wanting or needing care. Sometimes we have to give ourselves an excuse to receive. Or we use it as a reward for something we’ve achieved. Instead of feeling guilty, we can think of self-care as keeping ourselves accountable to our inner being. The more we care for ourselves, the deeper our relationships can be with ourselves and with others.
Cognitive neuroscientists have discovered a type of brain cell that responds equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action. In other words, when we are willing to be vulnerable, others will reflect that vulnerability. When we are compassionate, others will mirror compassion. The reverse is also true. When force and dominance are exhibited, these behaviors will be mirrored back.
We long for authentic community. To get there, we can invite ourselves first and then invite others to join us. We may not know exactly what it looks like, but we can be willing to find out.