The Search for a Different Kind of Community

How incredible and exciting this new life I have chosen in Mexico is turning out to be.  I am starting to relax into trusting the process of how this year is unfolding.  So different from any year before.  I was just out for dinner with a new friend and we agreed that the circumstances of every year since 2020 have been completely different from any year in the past.  No more same old same old.  New and different is the vibe.  Keep up or be left behind, disoriented and struggling to make sense of what is shifting this year.  I believe it really takes a strong internal compass to ride the waves of change these days.  So many connections are being broken to open up in new ways for those who pay attention and desire to uplevel their lives.

May 2023 has blossomed with a new abandon I have never tasted in my 57 years.   A whole new level of experiencing deeper spiritual connections, a sense of community with exciting new possibilities and the entrepreneurial spirit within me that was in pause mode since 2009 has been activated this year.  These three areas of my life are now on fire and it is intense!  Apparently, the less I try and the more I let go of mentally working to arrange my days, the more room I allow for an emerging sense of feminine  softness.    

New opportunities and interesting people arrive in my life every week, fulfilling my heart’s desire from 6 months ago when I underwent a period of struggling with my new identity and how to relate to others.  I decided I wanted to only get to know others that I found interesting and inspiring.  This was a big departure from my go to strategy for creating community in the past.  The only real qualification I had was that I found myself in their presence!  Yikes!  No wonder I struggled.  My relationship boundaries were super loose.  At long last it was time to do a re-org on the next area of my life that needed a complete revision.  

Recently I have come to see that my go-to relational strategies pre and post Canada were not working for me.  The people I had met and gotten to know here in Mexico in 2021-22 had all moved on, back to their homeland or to the next stop in their nomad lifestyles.  As I spent last summer recovering from some injuries, I had plenty of time to do another round of self-inquiry.  An even deeper introspection into the habits and patterns I had brought with me from my old life.  Since I woke up to the fact that I had no trustable people in my life in 2020 I stopped contact with every last one of them and had put the tangled mess of my relationship configurations on hold until now.  Such a mess I really wanted to leave in the past but that is not how I live anymore.  Opening the dark closets of the past and shining the light of truth on what I don’t want to look at is setting me free from fears, phobias, claustrophobia and paranoias at a miraculous rate.  The fearful part of me wants to turn away and pretend my struggles to connect with others are not worth looking at but deep down I know I can make a permanent change because I prioritize digging for the absolute truth above my fears and desire for distractions.

Finding community is the goal of every Expat in Mexico.  It is exciting for the natural extrovert who loves and needs external validation of Self reflected in the eyes of other.  For the introvert like myself, desiring community and creating community can be two very different things.  Being born and raised in an insular, inward-looking community was oddly easy as I was actively discouraged from making new friends outside of the “approved and qualified” children.  I cannot recall being in many socially new situations.  The same people at the same events.  Everyone I met I was told they were my friend or relative by the grown-ups, who surely knew what they were doing, ha ha.  This turned out to be a true curse as I was literally thwarted in the art of making new friends which left a gaping hole in my introvert personality.  Ignoring and actively rejecting people outside the approved circle was the norm.  I had no idea how this one thing would cripple me socially the rest of my life. 

As a young adult away from the comforts of my childhood and on my own in the extroverted era of the 1980’s, opening to new possibilities socially was way outside of my comfort zone.  An ongoing challenge which I solved by creating a completely false persona.  Now in my 50’s with a history of painful experiences that I have left behind, it is time for a do-over.  For me, this required starting from scratch, which really sucks.  I really, really wanted to just sail into a wonderful group of people that all got along and enjoyed each other like in a happy movie.  That fantasy island concept.  Maybe that desire came from sooo many TV shows in the 1970’s and ‘80’s depicting how much fun it is getting away from the drab 9-5 American/Canadian lifestyles of back then.  I remember The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, even Gilligan’s Island where the characters were shipwrecked.  The one thing all of these shows had in common was no matter what the plot of the week was, the characters had way more fun and excitement than anybody I knew at the time.  Just change location and start over fresh without looking back.  Sometimes I wish that could be how life works.  Back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s I looked around and saw the grownups creating lifestyles of duty, obligation and status competition within narrow-minded communities.  Fun and excitement consisted of a variety of methods used to distract them from their tiny ambitions.  Food, parties, television, movies, and church attendance many times a week are a few that I remember.  I get it now but want to move past the rulesets of my early role models.

Constructing a fresh new personal vision of what I need in a community is what I am working on now.  This is taking a great amount of courage. First step is to look at the old construct and recognize it is not serving me anymore.  I guess at one time I felt like it did.  Actually, the truth is it only served to perpetuate the familial ancestral pattern of “us versus them.”  This is no way to form lasting relationships of safety and security.  Obviously.  It is ridiculously retarded in the finest sense of the word.  Keeping separate from those outside the group was imperative to the social norms of my culture/religion so confronting this nasty form of self sabotage has roots so deep it feels overwhelming at times when meeting people from across the realm some of whom hail from countries and cultures I have never heard of.

Peeling away old layers of social stereotyping, prejudice, bias and intolerance is a big deal and really hard to face within myself.  Who am I really?  The Philosophy Meetup group I attend on a weekly basis now is my classroom.  The ones who attend represent a sample of many cultures, religions and countries.  As the core group of us discuss our personal philosophies on a different politically or culturally charged topic every week, the social niceties have fallen away and I have looked into many an abyss of the human condition that creates distortion within us.  We all become mirrors of each other.  Listening to people declare personal beliefs that do not align with mine has been really hard.  This is good as it tells me what rule set within myself that I need to release.  Some examples of topics are:  marriage, autonomy, authority, “the grind”, destiny and evolution.

Trusting the process of my new life’s unfoldment feels exciting and has me becoming really present to what is and what is not my responsibility.  I choose of my free will.  Putting aside the past gets easier when looking directly at it.  Choosing who to spend time with and who to grow relationships with gets easier with practice.  Rather than being suspicious of new individuals, I now choose to first notice their higher selves.  This way my sincere kindness can radiate and my heart can appreciate their humanness.  This may be a start to creating a new community.  Relaxing and trusting the process to unfold in its own time, with authentic, truth-based members seems a little daunting when looking at the vast majority of what is posted on social media this year, but I persist and hold my focus.  My internal compass guides the way.   


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