Nurturing The Value in Meaningful Tribes
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
We are born in to Tribes, we also choose our tribe.
Your tribe is the group of people you share or have something in common with and as you navigate life, you may find yourself a part of several tribes. I have my family, my friends, tribe from church, my running buddies, my Day Ones, my college - all tribes I am part of to varying degrees of bonding. In exploring shared values, interests, culture, language, identities, even location, what’s been most valuable for me has been the tribe that meet the description in the urban dictionary - A group of friends that becomes your family. The people that will be there for you no matter what and who you're guaranteed to have a good time with.
Here are my quick thoughts on what I learnt in building meaning in my tribes
Be vulnerable – Accept your humanness. I know, I know, we all want to be that strong, flawless perfect person or at least we want to be seen that way. But bad experiences from mistakes and things outside our control happen and its important to extend yourself some grace. You are human. For the tribe that would be meaningful, let your friends ‘see’ you. Understanding and accepting and allowing myself to be vulnerable is one of the things that brought deeper meaning in the relationships I had with my family and friends.
Put in the work – I have an amazing family unit and great friends that have become family but I learnt that these relationships are not nurtured by … just being. While its easy to take those bonds for granted because of how strong they are, being intentional about checking in with them, watching out for their interest, discovering new things about them adds so much to the dynamics of the relationship. A few years ago, I put calling my parents on an actual schedule to ensure I did it – whether I felt like it or not and it blessed me, it gave me so much more opportunities to connect with them and experience their love that much more. There was a time I didn’t keep up as often with my best friend from College and even though it didn’t seem to affect our relationship (because any time we did catch up, it felt like no time had passed) when we made the effort to check in more often that created so much more value for us because we got to experience life, support, understanding and therapy through each other all in one.
Be Generous – with your smile, your time, your heart, your listening ear, your love, your passion, compassion, your expressions, your wisdom, your experience. As you give and share of yourself, there’s so much more of what you give that comes back to you, and a Tribe that holds you up.
Be True – Few things are as nurturing to a healthy relationship as having people in your tribe whom you can depend on to be honest with you –even when it hurts. Who best to tell you the truth than someone who loves you, understands you and knows the best way to present it to be received by you. By constantly working on being honest with them, my tribe provides the safe environment for me to hear the truth from them.
My Tribe was my biggest support system as I experienced an incredibly stressful divorce process – there were those that prayed with me, there were those that cried with me, those that were angry along with me, those that were just there for me and those that advised me. I was sad, hurt, angry even, but I was never alone. That’s what a meaningful tribe does. Don’t isolate yourself, find people you can trust to hold you up.
No one is an Island.