Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How To Build Your Own #Village

It takes a village, y'all. It takes all of us to make it through this shitstorm. It takes all of us working together to ensure that our children are cared for and grow into functioning members of society.

I am on my third marriage. Though it is not something that I ever envisioned for myself, it is what it is. I made some bad choices and was pushed into difficult decisions, but I know that I am blessed. Through all of these experiences, my village has grown and flourished.

I am still close to the families of both of my exes. We share memories and love for mutual people, so it makes sense to have good relationships with them. We have neighbors that help us, and, in turn, we help them. It's give-and-take, and there is no keeping score. We have friends that exhibit true grace and stand by us when we aren't lovable and when it would be easier for them to walk away. They are our village - our tribe. As a village grows, it is only enriched by the diversity and depth of our relationships.

We all need a village, but how do we find one?

We smile. 

Smiling is infectious. So many people need this expression of kindness.

We talk to one another. 

I'm from the South, so talking to random people is in my blood. You never know where you are going to meet your new best friend.

We show compassion. 

Show solidarity with the mom in the grocery store who is caring for her three whining children. (This was me last week.) If you see that she's reaching for something, help her. If you see that one of her babies is getting something that he shouldn't, help her - with no judgment. Don't think to yourself, "I would never let my child do that." She probably wouldn't either, but who knows how her day is going.

We do not judge. EVER. 

Everyone is fighting a battle. Some share their experiences. Some hold everything inside, and then we are shocked when they explode, or worse, implode. I'm guilty of judging others every damn day, but I'm getting better. I'm giving people more grace, and I am receiving it in turn.

How can I expect the world to change if I don't instigate it myself? So I am. I'm trying my hardest to be the change I want to see. I won't succeed everyday, but I'll celebrate the days that I do.

We are ALL the village. It's going to take all of us to do this.

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