Today I spent my morning with a friend on the campus for our church’s world headquarters. There is a coffee shop/bookstore there as well as beautiful grounds that I enjoy walking around. This also happens to be the location of my current spiritual center and community. I only intended to spend an hour or so there but we got to talking and I was there for quite some time.
One of the things that came up was the feeling of acceptance, welcoming, and being a part of the community. I have felt a feeling of lack in this regard for some time, but I thought I was alone in this. Apparently I am not the only person to have feelings of detachment about this center. There are many reasons I feel this way and just as many ways that this feeling manifests itself.
One of the things that has entered my mind is that there is a window of opportunity when you join a new group. At some point you are assigned a “spot”, a clique, or a circle and that becomes your world within a world. My wife and I, rather quickly after joining this community, became very active with our youth department and spent a great deal of time away from the main body of adults. Routines fell into place and roles were filled. We were assigned our spot in the community. Unfortunately for me, this spot was very much away from the main body of adults and after a time I found it difficult to connect outside of the youth education circle. My own introverted nature is somewhat to blame, but so is the dynamic of how this community seems to evolve.
I feel very unconnected when we are all together in one group, as a community. I bounce around from small gathering to other small gathering, on the outside looking in. This has been a sore spot in my life for a while. It has hurt my self worth, self esteem, and I admit it, my ego. That is, I have felt that way until today. Today something clicked. Today something felt OK. I received a message. That message was that is was OK that this was not my community. There was no remorse, angry or even disappointment. It just simply was.
I feel that, for my own spiritual and emotional growth, this was an important moment. This was a page turner. It wasn’t about not having something. It was a moment to realize that I am looking in the wrong place for the thing that I am looking for. I haven’t been given a clear directive to find that space that has what I am looking for, but I have narrowed the field, by one location.
I have a couple of friends that I see from outside of that spiritual centers activities and I will still see them, but it is just time to go find where it is that I do fit in. this is OK. This is OK for me and everyone else. We all feel a need to belong and fit in somewhere, it just doesn’t have to be this particular place. So here is the question. Why is this being posted in the middle of a gratitude challenge?
It is part of my gratitude challenge because with this moment in time comes understanding. I have gained understanding about what my needs are, how they are being met or not met, and that it is time to fulfill those needs. This is one of those, this is for me moments and that signal is clear. Go explore. Find your spot.
Today I am grateful for understanding. It is OK for something to not work out. It is OK to go find that thing, that place that does.
Today I am grateful for understanding.