“You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can.” ― Ryan O'Connell
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, “finding your tribe” will help you really start enjoying the concept of “doing community well”!
So, how do you find your Tribe?
I love Ryan O’Connell’s quote because I believe a lot of us were born or adopted into families that both “can’t love us all the time” and “who don’t know how to love us properly”. I am not saying that this is a bad thing – it’s just a reality. When we can accept our family for who they are and we take the initiative to find the Tribe where we fit well than it is a fabulous thing. Our goal here isn’t to make others feel bad – it’s to find our Tribe and enjoy doing life with them. Our family can be our Tribe, by the way, they just won’t be our only Tribe. And they may not be our main Tribe. Another concept we’ll talk more about later.
I don’t think there is a perfect formula for finding your Tribe but here are some ideas to get you started. Please know that this is not a comprehensive list and that I will add more later in this 31 Day series.
Be the Tribe member you want. We talked about this on Day Eight where my friend, Ginger Harrington, guest posted for me. Ginger shared 14 tips for being the friend you want to have and she took these tips straight from Romans 12:9-19 in The Message. My favorite tip is “Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” I think this sums up an ideal Tribe member. Love with all your heart and put others first. Invite people out for coffee to get to know them. Touch base between times together and ask how they are doing – simple text, in this day and age, will suffice. Start building a relationship one day at a time.
Create opportunity for the Tribe to get together. There are so many different ways to do this. One way I like to do this is to invite a handful of ladies over to my house for fellowship. I am one that always likes to be productive so I have had ladies over for card making and lunch. Or I host a home-party, like Pampered Chef or an educational class on how to use essential oils, with no expectation for anyone to buy something. This is just an opportunity for friends to enjoy food and learn something new. We have also created a Saturday night dinner party of sorts where couples get together and try a new restaurant every week or once a month. The bottom line is to give people the opportunity to meet other people and get to know you better. Most people do not like to be in charge of gatherings but they do like to be invited and attend. Someone has to get the ball rolling and if you desire to find your Tribe you just may have to be the one who does the inviting first.
Say Yes to other’s invitations. Occasionally someone else you meet will be in the business of creating their own Tribe and may consider you a potential candidate. They may invite you out for coffee to get to know you or invite you and your family over for Family Game night. Go. Check them out. Enjoy yourself. And if they seem like a good fit than repeat the above steps with them. It is rare, in my experience, to get invited into other people’s Tribes so I try to say YES whenever I can. You never know who your next Tribe member may be so you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to add one more to the Tribe.
The last tip for now:
Leave room at the table. I will discuss this concept in more detail in another post. For now just make space for one more – make everyone feel welcomed. They may not stay in the Tribe long but they will at least feel welcomed. As they say, “Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover.” Give people a chance. Every once in a while they will pleasantly surprise you.
See you tomorrow as we continue talking about “Doing Community Well” and more specifically as we continue this journey to Find Our Tribe!