What does community really mean?

I feel like I can’t talk enough about community. We need to slow down and get better at loving the people around us. In a time when we are desperate to connect with each other, most of us are connecting only with our devices. Why aren’t we better at being in community? And what does community really mean?

Let’s get a little nerdy, just for a minute and talk about meaning. I love words and finding out their sources and depth of meaning. So, the word “community,” comes from the Latin communitas. Comm, meaning collectively, all of us, or in association with. And unitas, meaning obligated to, responsible for.

Knowing the meaning of this Latin root makes an impact on how we might view community. It helps us define community in more real terms than simply saying, all of us that are here, or us together makes community. What this definition implies is that there is more to community than simply a group of people.

It’s that last part of the word that packs a punch. Unitas- what are we as a group, obligated to, or responsible for, collectively? What drives us, as one? Answering those two questions will refine how you feel about your community and what it really means to be a part of one.

what does community really mean?

Are we working together toward a common goal? That’s community! Are we responsible to and for each other? That’s community! And reminding ourselves to check in with how highly we are regarding our community has never been so important.

It’s easy to take groups and associations for granted when you aren’t really invested in them. I would say then, you are not in community in those scenarios. The only way to feel like part of the community, is to become a real part. Take ownership, claim it as your place, and then walk along side people toward that common goal.

What else can we do to get better at living in community?

Self-evaluation

It’s always best to start with self-evaluation. You can’t change anyone else, but you do have the power over your own goals, intentions, and behaviors. So, take a look. What are your goals? Are they in line with your current community?

Safety

Another element that is key to a great community is feeling safe and secure within that community. You should be able to be completely you, show up with all of your rawness and authenticity and find love and acceptance. Communities are places of support and safety. this is what binds groups together as they walk toward their goals as one.

So be that kind of person for others in your community. Live with openness and compassion, avoiding judgement and comparing. This doesn’t mean that you can’t speak your mind, only that respect is what makes a place feel supportive.

Reciprocity

The natural give and take of community is a beautiful thing. This adds to the big picture of what it really means to be in community. You are accepted, nurtured, and loved, others can expect the same from you. You give of your time and resources, you can expect others to give of theirs as well.

I hope this gave you some new insight into the meaning of community. It is always my hope to spread positivity and inspiration. Take time today to really invest in your true community and reap the benefits!

Check out this loving the 9 types cheatsheet below. This can help you love the community you’re in by quickly seeing what they need most! Click the button below to grab the PDF printable.

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Loving Your Community Through the Enneagram

Many years ago, in my first psychology class, I remember being amazed that we all think differently. It was a big awakening moment of understanding that the people around me, weren’t thinking the same thoughts as me, or doing things for the same reasons I was, or feeling the same things I was feeling. Today, I want to talk about these differences and how we can love our communities through the enneagram.

We all know how important is is to love others. But what does that mean? Does everyone need the same kind of love and want to be loved in the same way?

I think we all know the answer is, no.

So if we all need to be loved in different ways, how do we go about loving each other?

Who is your community?

In a broad sense of course, it is everyone around you in the place where you live. Loving all of these people would be hard to do in the deep intentional way we are going to discuss today. Kindness can always be shared to everyone, but I want to talk about real love. The people who will get the benefits of your love are going to be the people in your “inner circle,” the people you claim as your group, who you belong to and they belong to you. (Read more about why we need community to thrive, here).

Maybe its your family, maybe its your church group, or maybe its the people you gather with in a coffee shop every week. Whomever you include in your community, the first step in loving them well, is knowing them well.

This is where the enneagram becomes the most useful tool in your toolbox.

The enneagram first shows you how you see the world, and then shows you how other people see the world. When these two ways of seeing come together a lot can happen. Compassion grows for yourself, and others. This changes your relationships in only positive ways. You begin to understand why people do what they do, instead of simply reacting to what they do.

So how does loving your community through the enneagram work?

Learning the enneagram is going to help you understand yourself.

Beginning with yourself is always the best place to start. After all, you can only control your own actions, reaction, and decisions. When you learn the enneagram, you will begin to notice your patterns of both positive and negative motivations. You can practice pausing before you would normally make a negative reaction, or begin down a path you didn’t intend to go.

Once you have learned about yourself:

Your motivations, your core needs and desires, and your fears and patterns of disintegration…

It is your job to teach others about yourself. This knowledge is power. The people in your community want to love you well, but it is not intuitive. Understanding how to love people the way they need to be loved is a complicated matter. It takes time and intention to do this well. So, why not spell it out? Take some of the mystery out of this complicated life.

Once the people around you know your number, it’s time to start learning theirs. This is going to be an eye-opening experience. Dynamics will begin to make sense. You will start to understand why people do certain things, why they express themselves the way they do. The enneagram will show you exactly what each type needs.

Why learn the enneagram with a group?

This will only bring your group closer together. It may even help heal wounds, and provide a forward path for the future.

Self growth is accomplished best when supported by a group. This is a key opportunity for everyone to do together. (And it might even be fun)! Taking the time to learn about each other shows that you care deeply about one another too!

Grab this “Loving the 9 Types- The Cheat Sheet” below by clicking here, to help you understand a quick overview of how each type needs to be loved.

Loving Your Community Through The Enneagram

The discovery kit below is a great place to start your journey. It has information on all 9 types and is perfect for a group. Grab it here.

loving your community through the enneagram

Below you will find a beginners enneagram VIDEO course! This is a great tool for groups, and only takes 45 minutes to go through! Perfect for a night together learning about each other. Grab the download now!

loving your community through the enneagram

As always, it is my hope that you have an inspired day!

Thanks for reading!

Why We Need Community to Thrive

Today I want to talk about embracing community. Why is it so important to have our people? I’m going to break down the meaning and benefits of community, and why we need it to thrive.

Let’s start by defining it.

What is Community?

Community can be described in many ways. My first thought, is of coming together with common mind and purpose. Unity is right in the word, hinting at that spirit of togetherness. What I love about this idea of community, is that it isn’t only specific to where you live, or your culture, or what you believe. Community can simply be people who have claimed each other. You belong to me, and I belong to you. That’s it. When you belong to a group of people that means something, there is a certain weight that comes with that, and the benefits of being part of a community are what we are going to dive into today.

why we need community to thrive

The Benefits of Community

Though communities can take on many different outward appearances from cross fit clubs to prayer groups, they all have one thing in common: belonging. A sense of belonging may be the most searched after thing in life today. Everyone wants to feel like they have a place, and that is exactly what community gives.

Feeling welcomed is more important that the actual purpose of the group’s gathering. If a group is getting together for book club, it isn’t the actual book that makes the gathering meaningful, it’s the sense of wholeness created when people really care about each other. When we feel seen and heard, we not only feel like we belong, but our overall feeling about life improves.

This is good news. This means that someone who would otherwise feel down and depressed, could feel completely the opposite just by being part of a community.

And that’s not all…

There’s more reasons why we need a community to thrive.

Being part of a community means you have access to talents and resources outside of yourself. Have you thought of this perk of being part of a community? The relationships created allow for this symbiotic nature. What’s mine is yours, and what I can’t do maybe you can. This element can be lived out beautifully in communities. The more people share of their talents and resources, the more willing to share others become. It creates a cycle of sharing for everyone, and reinforces those feelings of belonging. This builds confidence for the individual and added confidence in the group.

we need community to thrive

Communities are also known for the “strength in numbers” aspect. When the voices of many become one, that voice is more powerful. Standing together, always beats standing alone.

What are the problems of being without community?

You may be aware that loneliness and isolation lead to an array of serious health problems, both physically and mentally. Being without community leaves room for these possibilities to put people in real danger. Without community, when a problem arises, you have only yourself. The weight of life has the tendency to become to heavy to hold alone. We weren’t meant to be without community. We need each other to help carry that weight.

Without community, you will struggle with belonging, wellness, and to put it simply, life in general. This might sound extreme, but I think we’ve all had enough taste of isolation to know that going it alone is not the best way.

As an introvert, and type six on the enneagram, I don’t mind having some time and space for myself. In fact, many days I crave it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in community. I am a part of a few community groups, and life without them would be torture. They lift me up when I’m feeling down, they make me feel like I have a place in the world no matter what. They share their resources, time, and talents. And together, we experience the best of parts of life.

What do you do if you don’t have a community?

Start where you are.

It’s easier to look at your life and see what is already in place around you, instead of getting overwhelmed by searching out a bunch of communities to join. Look at your schedule. What are you already doing? Do you go to a gym a few times a week? Do you take walks in your neighborhood? What are your hobbies and interests that you are already pursuing? You will be more likely to be in community with others if you can simply add to what you are already doing.

Make an effort to invite a friend or two on your daily walk, or meet up with people after your workout at your local coffee shop. Keep doing what you already love, just choose one thing to do with others.

If you are feeling more ambitious, maybe you can start your own community group. Are the type who loves planning or hosting? You could start your own club based on your interests. Maybe you all go hiking twice a month, or play cards, or get together to share stories you’ve written for fun.

However you choose to include yourself in community, know that everyone is benefitting. Now you know why we need community to thrive, and that it’s the very best way to live!

I hope this post has brought you encouragement and inspiration for your day!

What other benefits can you think of that come from being part of a community?