Who we are is revealed and formed in community. What do I mean when I say community? I like to define community by breaking it into its components: Commune-in-Unity.
Commune is to talk together with profound intensity and intimacy exchanging thoughts and/or feelings. Unity is the state of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole.
So for me, community is any gathering of two or more where we can exchange thoughts and feelings, openly and intimately, often with profound intensity, so that we learn to be our true selves and realize we are one with God, ourselves, and others.
It is in the relationships within the community, the back and forth of conversations, whether positive or negative, that more of who we are gets “bubbled up” and revealed. Don’t believe me? Think back to when someone encouraged you to continue on when you wanted to give up. Or, think back to your last disagreement or breakdown with someone. How many times did the phrase “You are…” or “I am…” get spoken?
It is in the give and take of relationships, where we are exchanging our thoughts and feelings with profound intimacy and intensity, through conversation and/or action, that we are “bumping up” against each other. It’s the “bumping up” that reveals what makes each of us uniquely us and allows us to learn how to live as one.
So, the next time you’re in a discussion with someone, instead of viewing it as “for or against” I invite you to view it as an opportunity to discover more of who each of you are and how you might learn to live as one in love. Learn to ask questions that help you understand each other’s perspective and listen with no pretense or judgment. Do this and you’ll be in your greater grounds!