As a communicator, I have spent my entire life believing and living the importance of community. Even before I had the proper language or knew how to appropriately name what this groaning was in my inner-most being, I knew that life somehow was better when spent in the crucible of community.
What the story of my life, thus far, has given me, as it pertains to community, are some pretty clear distinctions as to why it is so important. So I’ve put together the top 6 reasons why there should be at least one other person who knows everything about you.
1. We were created to be in relationship. This should be obvious but what’s surprising is the simple fact that our actions will always speak louder than our words. And our actions tell one another that we would often times rather be left alone, leaving each other alone, in order to not be bothered, or bother, as well as not be disturbed in our own way of thinking. It’s clear though, through the creation story that even God noticed and declared it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).What the story of my life, thus far, has given me, as it pertains to community, are some pretty clear distinctions as to why it is so important. So I’ve put together the top 6 reasons why there should be at least one other person who knows everything about you.
2. Community provides us with the evidence that we are not alone. I don’t think I can quite describe the first “Aha” moment I had, when I realized I wasn’t the only one who struggled with one thing or another. Having the rush of peace sweep over me, forever convincing me that I’m no longer alone, is something everyone deserves to experience. C.S. Lewis describes this well in his work, The Four Loves.
“Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”
… It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision – it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.”
3. Being known helps us stay grounded and avoid entitlements. This proves true over and over again. Even last night having a conversation with a friend, I was describing a situation and how I was feeling and he quickly replied that how I was reacting sounded like an old tape I was telling myself. When we expose ourselves and invite others to speak into our lives, we provide the right conditions for growth.
4. Corrects our vision, reframing our perspective to know we are not at the center of the universe. Perspective is such a powerful tool. Have you ever heard the phrase change the story, change your world? What and how we think absolutely shapes how we react to the world around us. And when we open ourselves up to community and invite relationship, we actually create the mechanisms that can help us change the stories we tell ourselves.
5. Because it heals and gives us peace. If you have ever participated in any kind of counseling or therapy you know this to be true. There is a direct correlation between vulnerability and the amount of healing and peace we experience. The beauty of what happens when we unburden ourselves with our secrets is we allow room for the peace and healing to take their place.
6. Life is most abundant and fulfilling when enjoyed through the context of community. Consider for a moment the opposite, if we held on tight to our secret selves, not trusting another human being, not loving another human being, what a sad place that would create. Once again we gain some tremendous wisdom from C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves.
“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
Here’s a question for you today.
Is there at least one other person who knows everything about you, every secret, every dream, every passion? If not perhaps it’s time there was.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!