Shrinking Back from the Challenge of Community, Before Rooting In

Sometimes you realize the best place for you to be is quietly to the side. I’m a hedge walker by nature, and I don’t easily gravitate towards leadership roles. I’m always more comfortable reaching deeply within than whipping things together outside. Some can do both, I’m not one of them.

So the challenge of working on community isn’t a natural fit for me. Being around a cacophony of personalities, staying centered and grounded when every introvert bone in my body is screaming for me to hide out at home, it’s about as challenging as throwing the ring into Mount Doom.

boromir

But here’s the thing that I’ve come to realize, thanks to some help from Hecate (and some close friends): that role is important. The personality that is quiet, that gives a measured response, that is more comfortable talking with those whom they meet at the crossroads, the deep empath.

Prior to this sudden explosion of activity that marked its nascent emergence, I desired community. After that big bang, I shrunk away from it, horrified by what we had created.

All of my fears and doubts bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. What if we fail? What if a couple people come along who spook everyone away? What if we’re not good enough? Smart enough? Diverse enough? What if it becomes a clique?

Honestly, I still have those fears and doubts. But just as I was about to throw in the towel, a post by John Beckett popped in my email today about perseverance that made me reconsider. Instead of fleeing, I found myself setting down deep roots, pulling up huge amounts of grounding earth energy. It was just a brief summary, but when I opened the email, this is what I saw:

Half of life is just showing up – the other half is sticking with things long enough for them to pay off. It’s not quitting when things get hard or unpleasant, it’s remembering why you started a journey in the first place.

Those were the words I needed to read and they came at just the right moment. Like most of what John writes, his post is excellent- an examination of the benefits of persevering, seeing a project through and not getting discouraged when times get tough.

This work of building community is as important as it is challenging. I remember when I started trying to reach out to groups here in Florida and didn’t get much in the way of a response, how lonely and isolating that felt. One of my chief goals was just to make sure that if someone reached out, there would be a person on the other side to answer. I hope that the groundwork we’re doing right now will establish that group that sticks around. The only way to know if it works is to stick around myself and help usher it through. Perhaps especially as the introvert who pipes up when the moment seems to call for it.

Hecate told me to keep walking the hedges, and to keep writing. But she also wants me to be present, and giving of my energy in my way.

Hecate’s call has been heard, and I am answering.

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  1. Yep! Sort of coming to that realization now. I just need to find a way to “deal” with group craziness without exposing my entire soul to fray and rip in the benevolent chaos. That John Beckett is touching more minds than he realizes.

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  2. This gave me chills.

    I have worked with Hecate in the past and I can see her lessons veiled in your words here. She walks a lonely path. Guided only by her intuition and torch.

    I have always seen her lessons like a whet stone, honing the mind, heart and soul for what is to come. The question is, has the time come to use the sharpened tool or does it need more time against the stone?

    There are many things to be found along the hedge, and many a time, it is unseen. But that is where beauty can be found, in the mystery. Not all flowers bloom in full sunlight.

    Instead of focusing on the full sunlight, and bustle of activity with the birds and the bees in the center, perhaps use your natural tendencies to hedge walk, and see what you find. You won’t be alone there, you’ll find. You’re not the only one overwhelmed by the noise and craving calmer breezes. You’re the honed tool with abilities to help guide others into niches they can be most comfortable with. You’re the quiet voice that can whisper compassion and reason from the hedge. That is quite a powerful role you have, my friend.

    While some can roost in the chatter, you can create a nest in something else. What that may be, that is for you, a strong introvert, to decide. They are not opposite but complementary aspects of a whole.

    Hecate is indeed calling. Calling you to share your wisdom and humming softly, “Do your best.”

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    • Thank you for your insightful and encouraging words, Sarah. Hecate’s path is a new and unexpected one for me, though I guess I could say that all the signs have been there all along. I hope to make use of the Goddess’s torch and do better than my (current) best, reaching beyond what I thought previously possible.

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