“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
- Lilla Watson
This quote brings to mind the importance of finding a community that sees us for who we are, the experiences we have had and even the lessons we have yet to learn. Often times community is introduced to us through geography: Family, neighborhood, schooling, online, religious and secular events are where have our first interactions with people.
As we grow and begin to move around the world in a bigger way, we meet new people and expand our community. For me, that was a mixed bag of delightful relationships along with disappointing experiences. Some of which left me feeling unsure who to allow such a major role in my life.
I had always counted on myself to work through anything that was thrown my way... I knew I needed to find a different path.
I had always counted on myself to work through anything that was thrown my way. Honestly though, it was not working and I knew I needed to find a different path.
Rather than give into fear based thinking I chose to firm up my own ground. One way I started firming up my ground was getting specific about my friendship boundaries.
I asked myself if their liberation was bound up mine. When the answer was yes, I reveled in that joy. When the answer was no, I loving released that expectation of community.
Doing this helped me to feel more confident in who I feel I could trust to support me. I asked myself if their liberation was bound up mine. When the answer was yes, I reveled in that joy. When the answer was no, I loving released that expectation of community.
As Black + Brown women, especially here in Minnesota, it can be difficult to find authentic community and those who understand our lived experience. At Render Free, it's easy. This isn't just a place for me, it's a place for us.
May Community Concept: Intertwined
When living in a culture that celebrates individualism, it can feel like our only option is to be hyper independent and self-reliant. We're conditioned from a young age to believe that we already have everything we need within us and we should be able to take care of all our responsibilities without help. The issue with this is not only that we're social creatures by nature, but we're wired for community. In fact, community is the #1 most reported reason that people join Render Free. Communal care is baked into our existence. Healing doesn't happen in isolation and community change can only happen through community - You don't have to carry it all alone, sis. Next time that hyper independent voice creeps in, we'll be here to remind you that we are all interconnected. While it is often our own responsibility to initiate caring for ourselves, we shouldn't be afraid to lean on the pillars that surround us in love and hold us up. Community is the way forward.
Resources spent on your self care and healing are resources well spent. Let our community of Black + Brown women continually affirm you, lift you up and remind you that you are worthy of wellness + liberation. Take that step to invest in yourself and join as a member: renderfree.com/membership
If Render Free is to last, now is the time to join in. Help us fortify the sustainability and staying power of Render Free as a community resource. Join us in solidarity and contribute as an ally: renderfree.com/support