My personal learning curve is pretty high these days. It seems that the more life throws at me, the more I am having to engage parts of my heart and mind and soul that have remained untouched for some time. Today I had a conversation with a friend who is full of beauty and grace. She is a friend who is simultaneously deeply profound and fully accessible. I left the conversation full, encouraged, empowered, and thankful to have a friend like her in my village.
I remember years ago Hillary Clinton made popular a saying that’d been around for awhile, “it takes a village.” This saying was contextualized to refer to the raising of children and how it takes multiple people. I have come to know that it takes a village for all of us.
I know I need a village. I need someone who is a good listener. I need a question asker. I need the skeptic and the feeler. I need a co-dreamer, a dream framer, a filter, a provider, and a kleenex holder. I need someone to listen to my ideas and cheer me on. And, I need the person to listen to my ideas and ask questions to reframe, help me keep from jumping into yet another project or ask how the new idea fits into the vision I talked about the day before.
I have a friend who is over the top organized. It takes her 15 minutes to do what it would take me 2 hours. I used to beat myself up for not being able to be organized in such a manner, now I am thankful that I know someone who I can invite into my life who is willing to give her gift of organization to me.
I have a friend who jumps on every dream and idea I have like it’s the best things she’s ever heard. Sometimes I need friends like this and she fills my love tank.
I have a friend who asks profound framing questions. He will listen over time and give honest feed back from his perspective and challenge and speak truth as needed.
I have a friend who immediately prays when I call, another who reads everything I every write, another who is generous and another who challenges me to work out.
(I told you. I need a village.)
The thing is, the list I could create of individuals who help me navigate life with health and wholeness could well exceed your level of patience. And, in full honesty even admitting that I have and need a village prompts feelings of vulnerability and insecurity. I just thought to myself, “wait make sure those who read this know you’re resourceful, capable, and can do things on your own too!” How deep the lie is that we are to be perfect at everything on our own. So today I’m coming out. Today I come out as person who needs people… and I need a lot of them.
Though culturally this idea is not celebrated in practice, I believe deeply that we were created to need others. We were created this way with great intension. When Paul, a follower of the way of Jesus, wrote about how the collective of followers of Jesus best functions, he mentioned how every person has a role to play and that every role is crucial. Each role plays a part that the others need. Somehow I think we’ve lost the importance of that concept or we only apply it to local church expressions rather than the every day interactions with the collective whole of followers. All of us, everywhere, need people. We need others who have gifts we do not. We need others who celebrate us. We need others to join us. We need a village.
Do you have a village? If so take some time to thank them. If you don’t, ask yourself what keeps you from recognizing you need others in your life. Then ask yourself where you have deficits and seek others to be in that space with you.