Where somebody knows your name

This weekend was a profoundly significant reminder of our deep desire to be recognized. I am reminded of the Cheers jingle, "We all want to go where somebody knows our name, and they're always glad we came."

Traveling with a good friend, I visited a meaningful place where everyone welcomed me because of the historical connection my friend has with the community. Embraced with love only due to being accompanied by someone that has long been a part of their group gave me an opportunity to experience a culture from the outside. Again and again I was reminded this weekend that being connected to a community fosters health and wellness.

Many of us spend an exorbitant amount of time on a computer or another technological gadget these days. Unfortuatnely this can create emptiness and longing as we are hard wired for human connection and community. Succeeding with social media status, achieving the latest technological step up, winning the most recent video game will never fill our hearts up. It will likely be gratifying for a short period of time, probably it will supply us with a rapid burst of energy and pride, but it will not last. Human connection is the sweet spot of life, it is both what our spirits are built for and what they crave.

Watching my friend be welcomed home by a long standing community filled me up. Kids had grown another inch, families had new additions, the wise and older generation had more grey hairs and new twinkles in their eyes. Shaking hands, extended hugs, genuine smiles, and catching up all combined to a recognition and validation that my friend belonged. Belonging cannot be underestimated, it is deeply impactful on our peacefulness and contentment. Roots in a group ground us. Thousands of years ago we belonged to our personal tribe, we traveled with our community, we told stories of others that we grew with, our ancestors carved the path that we then walked. There was consistently a chain of development where our circles supported us and mirrored our growth with history and acceptance.

Sadly, we have moved away from this. This weekend was a breath of fresh air that tugged on my heart strings. I was warmly envious and simultaneously reminded of my desire to develop attachment with a community that I could re-visit over and over as my life progresses. We desire to be a part of a group of people that share our beliefs and values. We yearn to be heard, validated, and accepted. We are a world community but each day it becomes more challenging to remember our connection of humanity with others. For our own health and wellness we must show up with dedication to bridge the gap between ourselves as islands and others as mainland.