In her book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about the importance of finding a community and sense of belonging in order to feel like a healthy human being.
There is quite a bit of science to affirm why it is important to align yourself with people who make you feel accepted and valued.
What does this mean for your health and future?
People who value healthy and rewarding relationships improve their odds of finding happy, affirmative relationships if they continue to seek out those who share their values.
By forming communities or actively seeking places where encouragement, personal development, and healthy communities are valued, even those who have felt the most isolated can find the permission and space they need to heal.
But how do we get started?
1) For starters, find or build a culture where people are continuously encouraged and developed (in that order)
2) Be a friend (do all that you can to keep that ecosystem healthy so that people who haven’t had the best time, but do share your values find permission to become a part of the tribe. Encourage them to take on leadership roles, and to develop their own passions)
3) Bring on mentors: the kind who ask open ended questions, who challenge you with exploration activities instead of directives, and demonstrate how much they understand the importance of active listening and being present.
You can rewire your brain for healthy relationships, so that you can recognize what that looks like the moment you see it. And to be honest, once you begin to immerse yourself in one healthy culture, I should forewarn you that it will become difficult to accept anything less in any other aspect of your life.