by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
If you’re in a season of substantial spiritual growth, it’s essential to lean on friends, family members, and people within your community to support and guide you. While spirituality is very personal, keeping it to yourself can actually hinder your growth and stifle everything from healing to clarity.
Having a strong community and an even stronger sense of support for them can help to boost your mental health and overall well-being. Community gives you a sense of belonging and purpose.
However, as we all navigate through this digital age of communication, it might not be as easy to feel connected with people in person. So, what can you do to receive the guidance and support you need from your circle? Why is it important?
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Being Around Others Nourishes Your Growth
Again, spiritual growth can often feel like a very personal thing. However, every one of us has our limits. There is only so much we can do and handle on our own.
You’ve likely heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” The same could be said about someone growing in their spirituality. By consistently involving yourself in a strong spiritual community, you’ll nourish your growth in a variety of ways. Some of the benefits you can experience include
- Learning about others’ spiritual journeys
- Overcoming roadblocks and obstacles with help
- Finding inspiration to break free from spiritual plateaus
When you’re heavily involved in a community, whether it’s a local church, organization, or even your circle of friends, you don’t have to worry about the acceptance of your spirituality. Your community serves as your support system, and there can be a great deal of comfort in knowing you belong to something greater than yourself and a group that will be there for you when you need it most.
Setting Up a Strong Community
Even if you understand the importance of a community for spiritual growth, it can seem easier said than done to establish yourself somewhere. One of the best ways to form a local community is to consider how you can get people with common interests and beliefs together.
Depending on your specific beliefs, one of the best places to start might include a church or nonprofit organization. You can organize things like group studies, groups specifically for men or women, or groups who meet about specific subjects or struggles.
If you’re more interested in fostering a sense of community with your neighbors and other locals, consider putting together things people can attend or turn to freely, including
- Block parties
- Garage sales
- Farm stands
- Ice cream socials
You might have to think outside of the box when it comes to connecting with the people in your neighborhood. Open up your home or yard, or work with your town to get the right permits for hosting public events.
Enjoy the Bonding Aspects of Community
Spiritual growth is about more than just studying specific texts or experiencing breakthroughs as you work with others. It’s also about bonding and sharing leisure time with those in your community. If that sounds a little silly at first, consider how important strong relationships are for establishing trust.
It’s one thing to have surface relationships with people. Anyone can enjoy small talk with their neighbors or even people they consider to be friends. However, the more time you spend with someone, the stronger your relationship becomes. You’re more likely to open up, show vulnerability, and trust the people you’re spending time with. Whether you’re trying to grow in your spirituality or just trying to reduce stress and avoid feeling burnt out, that goes a long way.
You can’t build intimacy and trust without spending a lot of time with someone, and all of that time shouldn’t be “formal.” Once you have a community established, think of activities you can do together that don’t necessarily have a goal or distinct purpose. Things like going to a baseball game, putting together a bowling team, or even having a backyard movie night are all fantastic ways to feel more connected with your group without sitting down and talking for hours.
As you continue your spiritual journey, you’ll quickly find how important it is to have people who support you, especially through challenging times. When you’re in a stronger place, spiritually, you can use the support you received to help others heal. Part of being in a community is receiving support when necessary and offering it when you’re in the right place.
If you don’t already have a community you can turn to, use some of the suggestions here to form one in your neighborhood. You might be surprised by how many like-minded people are out there who could benefit from the same support. As you lean on each other, you’ll be able to propel forward with your spiritual growth while enjoying the mental health benefits of being a part of something greater than yourself.
About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in balanced living through education and technology. She loves travelling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.
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