“I am a part of a community, not just a person for myself.”
Being within community means I am not just passing through, or showing up sometimes, making demands, seeking attention, and complaining that my needs are not being met. I do not pretend to be someone I am not nor do I disown or dislike the original community that shaped me. Instead I am continually checking and adjusting myself to make sure I am right with my communities. I do not expect them to understand and do things my way. I am open to the needs and ways of the community.
Trust is an essential part of a viable community or any worthwhile relationship. Trust assumes that everyone is innately well-intentioned and working toward the same goals and purpose. Trust is learning to be trustworthy in ourselves which not the same as automatically trusting others. Trust comes when we know that it’s possible to discern if another is trustworthy without having judgments about that.
Secrecy is a strategy that satisfies a need for safety and self-protection. We live in a guilt and shame culture and learn early in life not to share things that might “get us into trouble.” Even as adults we believe we can “get into trouble” instead of understanding that our mistakes are opportunities to learn, grow, become initiated, and develop compassion for the self and others.
Feelings of guilt or shame create a need to make excuses or deny our behavior. We try not to get caught doing and saying things that our community, family, friends, and significant other might not approve of. Most of us believe deep down that we are bad, unlovable, and unworthy of trust. Often we don’t trust ourselves let alone anyone else. After all how many times have we tried and failed- to stay on a diet- not drink too much- get enough sleep- eat the foods that are good for us- and so on.
Making another responsible for our behavior is also a strategy to be safe and protected. We tell others: “Don’t tell John I said that!” “Please don’t tell Mom- I know I can trust you.” “I don’t want Jill to hear about this, Ok?” “I’ve never told anyone this before, but…” Making others responsible for our secrets keeps us immature and spiritually undeveloped.
All feelings of guilt and shame are an opportunity to develop compassionate forgiveness for the self or for another. When we fall out of grace there is a temptation to withdraw and blame others, or to punish ourselves. However, pretending everything is fine when it isn’t fine only creates barriers in our heart. So before we can actually make a commitment to a community or a meaningful relationship we have to stop pretending, withdrawing, and blaming. We begin by thinking and acting with sincerity and reliability.
We open to Divine Will,
Surrendering, letting go, and being held
By the Great Mystery.
We trust in one another.
This day Great Father, we open
To the Divine way.
Surrendering, letting go, and being held,
We let divine movement carry us to the fullness of life.
This day Great Mother,
We remember who we are.
We remember why we are;
Your hands in the world, your voice for our people,
Free to create and bring love and joy and peace
To fill all the places of this day.
We are spirit, we are people of heart.
Guild us as we bring grace to this world.