Researcher, Andrew Shatte (watch his amazing Tedx talk) has shown us that the resilience to thrive in life is found in the ability to connect with something greater than ourselves. A connection to people outside our homes, a connection to our communities, our nation, our world, and our greater purpose.
If Andrew Shatte is correct, with the overwhelming availability to stay connected with others – 24/7 through the use of: cell phones, Facebook, email, Twitter, and more…one would think that we as individuals would be living at our fullest potential in life. But this simply isn’t the case.
People are more depressed and isolated than ever before. In fact, the Center for Disease Control reports that women are the largest demographic effected by depression. A woman can spend her entire day connecting with others by social media and never scratch the surface of true vulnerability, personal transformation, or the building of trusting relationships. These qualities of human growth happen in-person not on the screen of a phone or computer.
In the book, Daring Greatly, author Brene’ Brown Ph.d. says, “The willingness to show up, changes us.” If we lose sight of the importance of community, we can say goodbye to our faith, our values, our spirituality, and our pursuit of meaning and purpose.
In another book by Dr. Brown called, The Gifts of Imperfection, she says, “We can be so afraid of the dark, we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.” When I become afraid of the dark and face times of self-doubt, fear, and questions like: What will they think of me? Will I have anything intelligent to say? What if they find out who I real am and they don’t like me anymore? It make me want to lock myself up in my “safe house” where I can enter into community on my terms (i.e. writing generic life comments on Facebook).
It is in these times that God reminds me of the words of Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
God writes these words to us because He wants us to shine our light into a world of darkness, not hide from it. When we live a life of courage in community, we leave behind a world of shame, fear, rejection, pride, loneliness, and depression.
We will be encouraged as we dare to live!
The question is: Are you willing to live a life of courage to be connected to something greater than yourself? You make the choice.