#016 Be careful how you define your community – it matters

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Humans need human connection. With people who understand them. I get it. But let’s not surround ourselves ONLY with other parents of kids with disabilities.

1. We don’t help people to understand and be “our people” by isolating ourselves. If we want people to “get it” then we need to offer the opportunity. That means not shutting ourselves off.

2. If we want our kids to exist and be accepted in the community then they need to be IN the community!

3. All the people on our island have got their own stuff going on! When we primarily surround ourselves with other parents of kids with disabilities then we are surrounding ourselves with people that probably have the same limits to their bandwidth that we do and are looking for support and resources as well. In those times in our lives when we wish we had more people who can help, our friends with kids with disabilities probably are too.

4. We tell ourselves stories that we are more different than the same. And this story just isn’t total true.

HOWEVER! We do need the support of people who understand. Because we can’t be teaching all of the time. And often we need to have conversations that can get straight to the point! And because while we are not special as parents (more about this some other time), there are some aspects of our lives that are not universally common and just being with people who understand our experience can be wholly reassuring, bolstering and just what we need to keep going with a renewed spirit.

Ok. So, no islands of people who get it. But we do need community. Where do we find it?

Well, you can find it at Good Things in Life. I’m offering a free masterclass on the steps to creating a life of belonging and one of the steps is finding community. I’m inviting parents to join me for a course on creating a positive vision for the life of their child with a disability. It will start at the beginning of April. That program will create small family networks that have the potential long after the course is over. Think you might be interested? Join the free masterclass to hear more so you can decide if it is right for you.

But… I don’t want you to think that it is enough. It isn’t. Online communities and connections are great. They can be positive and powerful and can offer some things that might not exist in your community. But online relationships are not as good as in person relationships in many really important ways.

The richest parts of life exist in community. Both you and your children deserve a life of belonging with all of those riches. So, join me for the free masterclass, but reach out locally as well. You really do deserve it!

Thanks for Listening!

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