Be Thankful for the Communities in Your Life

by on November 26, 2014

Be Thankful for the Communities in Your Life

Green Pumpkin with Tag and TextLike many couples, my wife and I catch each other up on what has happened to us when we reconnect from our activities late in the day. This past year has been a difficult one for my wife in that she has been participating in physical therapy sessions for her wrist from a late December 2013 accident. The day we spoke, my wife had attended an awards ceremony for the Literacy Volunteers of America group that she is a part of in our area of New Jersey. As she was in the parking lot going into attend the program, a woman called out to her. The woman had recognized her from physical therapy sessions. They had both attended sessions at the same provider earlier in the year. Both my wife and the woman caught each other up on their progress in terms of their injuries. It was a pleasant moment for both of them to reconnect.

My wife commented to me that one thing she had learned from the whole therapy experience throughout the year was the bond that she had formed with her fellow patients. Often when attending sessions she would see the same people. Conversations would develop, connections would be made and form from having a mutual understanding about what each other was going through. She asked me if I understood what that was like. I informed her that actually I could identify with it, because I myself experienced it every week seeing the connections that developed between the attendees of the job search support groups I facilitated and attended.

This week we celebrate a day in our country’s calendar where we are thankful for many things. Family certainly, ideally being in good health, perhaps from accomplishing something which has been a struggle for us. Many of us additionally are fortunate, when we give pause, to be thankful for the many communities of which we are a part. Some communities may be obvious to us, (family, the neighborhood which we live, the people with which we work or with whom we go to school), while others may not be so. The examples my wife and I shared of the individuals going through therapy together or the job search support groups are communities that develop in our life of which we’re not always apparent. Many times our strongest communities come from a time when we have faced adversity in our life.

When something difficult comes into our life, it is often easy to believe we are the only one who is experiencing that issue or that no one can possibly know what we are feeling. And, certainly while each individual processes experiences in their life differently, if one if open to reaching out, there are those who get what you are going through.

If 2014 has brought tribulations into your life, be open after the Thanksgiving holiday to connecting with those who are going through similar trials. Often we ourselves best overcome adversity we are experiencing by helping those move forward that are experiencing the same things as we. While you may hope that support comes from the more immediate communities in your life, (family, neighbors, work or school friends), they often do not get what you are experiencing if they have not experienced it themselves. In addition, they have too close a personal investment in you. However, it does not mean you have to move through what you are facing alone. There are communities out there to welcome you. In fact, they may already be a part of your life. You may just have to open your awareness that they are experiencing many of the same feelings as you and join up with them.

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