The Push and Pull of Community

“The healthy social life is found, when in the mirror of each human soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the community, the virtue of each one is living.”

~Rudolf Steiner

As I was writing my post yesterday about parenting from the heart, I recalled the piece I wrote at my first writer’s circle last week.  I have been pondering the idea of love and have come to the conclusion that is not a simple one.  I have been exploring its polarizing aspects.  Full love, true love, deep love, includes boundless beauty, but also many unsavory bits.  Love is what binds life together into a journey worth taking.  I have edited the original version slightly, but here it is:

When people join together, something new is formed.  The mixing of experiences, beings and energies creatively combine into something different.  This couldn’t be more true than it is with my family.  I am new because of the living I’m doing in community with my children and husband.  We’ve become so intertwined.  There are depths to our knowing of each other that cannot be understood by our minds.  Patterns of falling into each other and repelling again.  But after each cycle of push and pull, we are all changed for it.  Like re-calibrating the poles of a magnet – we are drawn in and push apart in an act of nature beyond our control.

My deep rooted connection to them cannot allow me to be totally lost despite sometimes feeling the need for distance between us.  I sometimes crave autonomy.  But I can never really be alone.  My need for space exists because of our relationship with each other.  Definition of myself is always anchored by knowing who I am in relation to the loves of my life.  Every time I push away, the poles of my magnet flip and I’m saved from myself – brought back to the wholeness of our family nest.  They are part of who I am.  Their pull is greater than my own strength.  I cannot wander too far.

Pulling myself back into alignment with togetherness, to something greater than myself, is actually what is allowing me to know myself.  Moments of repulsion have the ability to teach me who I am.  With each flip of the poles, my influences are broadening.  Likewise so are the ripples of change I create.  I send out myself while receiving others, then send out a new self, receiving again.  For a cycle of growth that is never solely my own.

Connection is such a simple idea but so difficult in practice.  I miss so many opportunities because I’m just not present enough to fully hear.  I miss making eye contact, or don’t really listen with my full self.  In my absence from our togetherness, I am lost.  I am missing to my loved one, but also absent to myself.  I am missing the chance to catch my own reverberations.

My inner strength is heavy and of the earth.  Iron courses my veins, holding its invisible magnetic power to draw in and push out.  Opening to the polarities in life, in both its attractive and repulsive states, is what allows me to grow.  What allows all of us to grow.

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