Back in March, I moved to a new home and was surprised to find that the first two months weren’t filled with gratitude, but anxiety instead. My brain was fixated on grieving the loss of my previous neighborhood, overwhelmed by managing the litany of logistical details, and obsessed with inconsequential design decisions. I noticed my languishing and vowed to intervene on my own behalf. One small act entirely shifted my perspective and my emotions—I invited my neighbors over for an impromptu gathering. Turns out most were new home buyers too and deeply grateful to connect with others navigating the same challenges. Rather than a source of never-ending to-dos, suddenly my new home was a venue for a lifelong community who looked out for one another’s packages, shared homemade treats, and worked together to keep the neighborhood safe.
Connection and belonging matter. Getting to know my neighbors made me feel safer in my new surroundings, hopeful about the future, and excited to be a mutual support to them. Connecting to something bigger than myself and to a group of people going through similar struggles made me feel like I wasn’t alone and reminded me that my struggles were part of the human experience.
- Community matters to our wellbeing.
- Participating in and building community takes courage and intention.
- Choosing to belong requires a tolerance for vulnerability—it’s scary to open ourselves up to feeling rejected.
Ask Where do I want to belong right now?
Identify one thing I can do this week to build or engage in that community.
Identify one thing I can do this week to create a sense of belonging for others in that community.