Recently the theme of community has come up in my life, and I’m noticing that it’s coming up in my conversations with others as well. This tells me that it’s something worth bringing up and out for consideration.
I’m hearing so many individuals talk about how they long for a supportive community that would understand their health goals. People to serve as accountability partners. Someone to take walks with or to take a group fitness class with, that would make it more fun to look forward to that movement in the day. I’ve heard people talk about how difficult it is to attend a social gathering with food that isn’t what those individuals would normally eat, and how they feel the pressuring of being “the only one” who is abstaining from eating.
There are people wanting their family members, be it immediate family such as a partner, or extended family such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents, to support their lifestyles. One particular hot-button item is when people are trying to raise kids a certain way and their families and/or friends do not support their lifestyle choices with their kids.
I’ll admit that I’ve been in this place before. And it can be really painful. Feeling like you are all alone in your beliefs, lifestyle, and values is not just isolating. It’s sad, and it can work on our confidence and resolve. We start to question whether it’s “worth it” to be taking on this lifestyle that we feel is the healthiest for us. We wonder if we should just “give up” so we can “fit in”. We’re reluctant to admit when we may be growing apart from friends we’ve had for years, even though logically we realize that sometimes people change and we don’t always keep that much in common with them anymore.
But I’ve also had the fantastic experience of finding those great matches. Of the like-minded people who say something and all I can say in return is, “Oh my gosh, me too!!” Of the joy of realizing that I am not alone. Of having someone validate my belief system. And these experiences restore my faith that I can find my tribe. That I can identify others that are on a similar journey to mine and that would be only too happy to support my lifestyle so that I can reach a goal I have in mind. People who come over and are happy to share my food. Individuals I can trust to take care of my kids in my absence. Even people who think that my focus on health and my goals are a *good* thing, and who might even be motivated to embark on their own health goals based on seeing how happy my family and I have become with the changes we’ve made.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are you seeking out your own community of support? It’s much easier to achieve goals of a healthy life if you surround yourself with others who can appreciate you and all the parts of you. I’m not saying you have to kick all people who aren’t exactly like you to the curb. I’m just telling you that you don’t have to deny who you are in order to “fit in”. No matter what your goals, there are others out there looking for someone just like you to support, and to support them. Go out there and find them. How? Look for groups of people doing the things you like to do, be it dancing, running, walking, or a group sport. Are you an artist? Go places where people are making art. Interested in learning new recipes? Look at local health food stores for cooking classes.
There are a myriad of ways to get out there and meet others. At some point, you’ll find like-minded folks, and you’ll be so glad that you made the effort.