This past weekend, I had the immense privilege to attend and present at the 25th Annual Renfrew Center Conference in Philadelphia. I could go on and on about the unbelievable presenters and how much I learned about eating disorders, trauma, feminism, and quantum physics (pretty awesome conference, huh?), but instead I will say simply that I left on Sunday with a renewed sense of community – a community of compassion, love and belonging.
I was invited to commune, collaborate and celebrate all weekend long! By Sunday, I felt that I truly belonged. The feeling of belonging is not a feeling I take for granted, nor is it a feeling I know everyone experiences. When we feel we belong, even just for a moment, we feel safe, cared for, protected and like ‘everything’s going to be okay’. This type of belonging isn’t one of ‘fitting in’ and peer pressure, but one of deep contentment and acceptance. When we feel like we belong, our fears, insecurities, faults and flaws seem a little smaller, not so overwhelming. When others love and accept us, it’s easier to practice compassion with ourselves. When we have a community, our authenticity, vulnerability and imperfections are welcomed with open arms. When we have a community, we have a home.
When do you do you feel safe, loved, and accepted? Who helps you feel safe, loved and accepted? How do you create a community of compassion?