embed — “fix firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass” (Oxford Language Dictionary)
I chose that word intentionally, because connect didn’t seem to accurately portray what I am getting at. Connecting to community seems categorically different than embedding oneself in community.
open — “allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up” (Oxford Language Dictionary)
And I chose that word intentionally as well, because open communication is a different type of relational context in community, than without that descriptor.
To embed oneself in an open community is to find something of great value. A place where one can be oneself, free of all the masks one wears, and find, and feel, full acceptance. It’s a place to be fully known, and fully loved.
I have thought a lot about he importance of this the last 5 months as I have been on my own personal journey in the ReGeneration Recovery ministry.
In order to thrive in our lives, we need to be able to be surrounded in a community of people, where we can share all that is going on in our lives, free of judgement. And a place where we are called to take up the challenge to work on ourselves, and live into a more congruent, whole version of ourselves.
This is very hard to do…and I would go as far to say, impossible to do…when alone, or isolated. It’s probably possible with one other human, who you share an I-Thou relationship with, not an I-It. Jesus did declare in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (NIV). Maybe a great therapist, spiritual director, parent or friend can help you feel fully known, fully loved, and contain a safe space for you to continue to do the work that you need to do to be healthy. But there is something really powerful about a group dynamic, with it’s multiplicity of insight and feedback loops.
Do you have a community of people that you are in deep with (embedded), and you feel you can be fully yourself (open)?
If you don’t, I encourage you to begin to explore that possibility, whether it’s in a recovery or support group (like ReGen), or in your neighborhood where you can begin to do life with people in a different way.