It takes a village.
This is a common theme I believe in and swear by and state often.
I would not be where I am today (feeling healthy and whole and happy) without my village. It’s a village made of home group members, family, baristas, climbers, coworkers, and bloggers. It’s a village of wonderful folks who have cheered me on and invested in my mental health and spoken kind words to me.
Here’s what I believe:
I believe a community of supporters and cheerleaders can empower and enlighten and encourage you. I believe in the importance of lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. I believe comparison is nasty and individualism is beautiful. I believe loving others helps you learn to love yourself.
It took me a while to find my village.
The first few months and even year or so back in Dallas were lonely and isolating. I was struggling with severe depression and I kept to myself. I was insecure and anxious and devastated. I didn’t practice self-care and I didn’t pursue friendships.
It was awful.
A couple years in I found a new church community, invested in climbing gear and a membership, and attended a blogger meetup. All of a sudden I was surrounded by like-minded believer, encouraging athletes, and inspirational creatives. It was a drastic change for the better.
The right village always stands behind your mental health and well-being.
This weekend I had plans of a night out on the town with my girl gang. We planned to dress up and eat fancy food and drink fancy drinks and listen to live music.
But I decided not to go. It was a hard decision and I genuinely wanted to see my friends, but the past few weeks have been stressful and packed and wild, and I just needed time to myself.
So I stayed home, cuddled my dog, and got dumplings delivered to my door. I took a nap and I still went to bed early. I listened to music and watched Kim’s Convenience. It was a restful, easy, peaceful night. It was exactly what I needed.
And instead of shaming me, instead of calling me a flake or talking down to me, my friends encouraged me and offered to pray for me. They affirmed me in taking care of myself and they offered a listening ear and virtual hugs.
My village is amazing. They are kind and encouraging and supportive. They listen well and pray hard. They dream big for me, they hug me, they cry with me. They celebrate and rejoice with me. They mourn and grieve with me.
Do you have a village like that? Because if you don’t, I encourage you to find one. I encourage you to pursue the right people and right relationships. You won’t regret it, I guarantee.