Losing One Community Meant Gaining New Life & New Perspective

Life is long, imperfect, and beautiful.

After my husband and I were first married, we hit a rocky patch. A rocky patch that looked more like the Rocky Mountains, and we nearly busted up our marriage thing trying to traverse it. We blew up our lives in the best and worst ways.

We changed careers, with varying degrees of success and disaster. My husband, Lance, lost his best friend to a brain aneurism. We had to flee our home in the midst of all of that because we were in a hurricane flood zone. The beach where we became engaged was completely washed away.

It was a ridiculously difficult moment in time.

During this, we had the support and safety of a strong community and mentor. We met weekly in a circle, hashing out our feelings and experiences with other people who were also struggling. There was no form to it, no fixing each other, it was just a safe space to process. It was beautiful. It was heartbreaking and heart-mending in the best ways.

A few years later, my husband and I moved away. We left the safety of our little community and moved across the country to build something new. We were ready to create a life we wanted, and shifted out of a cycle of constant damage control. It wasn't perfect, it still isn't perfect, but with the love and support of our community and our mentor, we struck out for a different experience.

It's been almost three years now. That loving community no longer exists, although the people who formed it do. They are still carrying out their love and healing in their own ways, and I'm glad to know them, even if the community as a whole has dispersed.

Two years later, our community back home was shaken to its core. Our mentor made some devastatingly poor decisions, and almost overnight, our safety net disintegrated.

We were all profoundly hurt and heartbroken. It divided us. This safe place that we all needed no longer existed because of a series of hurtful decisions that buried us whole in the shockwaves.

We felt betrayed by our mentor, someone who had helped us and many others salvage marriages, families, communities, and life's work. In a moment, he blew all of that work up from his own wounded places.

It shattered me in a way I've never felt shattered before. I cried heavy, heaving sobs so loud I didn't recognize my own voice. I tried to understand, to extend to him what he had extended to me in the darkest moments of my life. I wanted to hold on with compassion and clarity and also be present for those in the community who were deeply hurting. But I couldn't. It was too big to wrap my arms around.

It's been almost three years now. That loving community no longer exists, although the people who formed it do. They are still carrying out their love and healing in their own ways, and I'm glad to know them, even if the community as a whole has dispersed.

The mentor I loved as a father no longer exists in the way that I knew him, but I love him still, just in a different way.

The hard work of dismantling, hurting, healing, and rebuilding continues on in each of us, even though our circle is irreparably broken. It looks different now, more of an individual process than a meeting of minds and hearts. But it's still powerful. It's still worthy.

And just like any real truth, it evolves and changes every day, just as Truth is meant to do.

Just as we are meant to do.

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