Sometimes in life, we set out on our own path only to find that we’ve gone the wrong way — and now we’re lost. It’s like being on a journey without a road map. And when you’re truly struggling, it’s easy to feel like calling for help won’t matter; tough times can make us want to simply withdraw into ourselves.
But when we reach out to others, we build bridges that strengthen us mentally and emotionally. We discover the support we need, and one day may be able to give it in return.
Here’s how seeking community, spending time with others and “finding your tribe” can make a lasting impact on your quality of life.
Community Starts With Each of Us
We all need someone who’s willing to guide us, laugh with us and cry with us. We’re wired to seek relationships and hope that when we’re lost, someone will find us. Sticking together to build community is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and others. In fact, that’s one of the keys: Being part of a community, a team or a family also means reaching out to others to make a meaningful connection. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Stick Together by Showing Appreciation
Let friends, family, coworkers and others who cross your path know that you value them. You could do something as simple as applauding a child for sharing or high-fiving a coworker for being a team player. Thank a friend for making you laugh or a family member for asking how your doctor’s appointment went. Offering compliments to others is a small but valuable way to build relationships. People love to know they’re appreciated!
Stick Together by Enjoying Quality — and Quantity — Time
Quality time doesn’t have to be expensive. A quick cup of coffee, chatting over a family meal or taking a walk are all ways to connect with others. And don’t forget that quantity time matters, too. That means leaving the phone behind for a few hours while you’re on a road trip or turning off the TV for an evening to talk about the day.
Whenever possible, quality time and quantity time are really the best combination. Give them a try and watch your relationships flourish.
Stick Together by Supporting Each Other Through Tough Times
Healthy relationships are about holding each other accountable and being supportive in times of need. Whatever the community — family, friends, coworkers or teammates — each person needs to be held accountable for what they say they will and won’t do. Of course, that includes you, too.
Being part of a strong community means others can rely on you and vice versa. Knowing you’ll support each other through tough times like health or job problems will bring your community that much closer together.
God made us for community. He knows sometimes we’ll be lost and afraid that we won’t make the right choices. But He wants us to be open to the helping hands of our neighbors — and also ready to stick with those who are struggling themselves.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
– Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, New International Version