Laughter, song, and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration, or healing: We are not alone. Brené Brown
Bring your thinking into line with one another. Here’s how to do it. Hold on to the same love; bring your innermost lives into harmony; fix you minds on the same object. Never act out of selfish ambition or vanity; instead regard everybody else as more important. Look after each other best interests, not your own. The Apostle Paul (Philippians 1:2-4)
In high school, I was involved in theater, forensics (speech club), choir and cheerleading. Looking back, I see what attracted me to all of these activities. In the singing, acting, speaking and dancing, I was working in community with other young artists and athletes to create something meaningful, beautiful and fun.
That’s the spirit of Paul’s comments to the little church in Philippi. On my high school teams, the players were not out for their own glory at the expense of others (on most days:). In a cheer routine, if someone tries to steal the limelight from the others, a 3-high pyramid might collapse, and someone could get seriously hurt. In a choir, if one singer ignores the conductor’s cutoff, they may get heard, but the song suffers.
In these groups, the magic happens because everyone is working together with the same objective. That’s how families, schools, work teams and faith communities can be as well—vibrant groups connected by love, trust and creativity.
But we all know how hard it is to find or form such a group. The good fairy doesn’t just come along and create synergistic places of love and belonging. Sometimes, there seems to be a bad fairy out there creating family conflicts, religious violence, bad bosses and toxic work places.
When I look back on the magic of my teenage years, I see the faces of four wholehearted, adult leaders who created the space for young people to connect and grow: Thank you Jackie Anderson, Harold Hamler, Mary Tesch Scobey and Terry Roulier.
You and I can be that kind of teacher and coach, beginning today. Everyone engaged in this Rising Strong™ study has the potential to become wholehearted and to cultivate love and belonging in the groups where we have influence.
In Chapter four of Rising Strong, Brené Brown explains how our painful emotions and unmet needs often push us to offload hurt and live on the run, rather than reckon with our emotions and create atmospheres where people can learn and grow.
Do you want to live a wholehearted life in a vibrant community? Are you willing to be a co-creator of such a place?
LORD God, put me on the path to freedom from the powers of disconnection. Bring me into an accepting and supportive community. Make me an agent of love and belonging.