Once upon a time I worked with four others for a man who led with trust and integrity. Before and after I worked for others that had these qualities. What made this unique was that the trust and integrity extended to everyone that was a part of it. At the time I knew it was different. I knew I was working in something that was unusual, although I had no idea how unique it actually was. For several years, we were a family within a family. It was a community where each was free to be her or his natural self; open, conversational, and trusting. Our experience assured us that others in this community would do the same in return.
With no commentary about anyone I have worked with since, I wake up in a hotel wishing I was part of a community like that again. If the community was a person I could send a message to I would repeat words used before; “Free me from hidden traps; I want to hide in you.” (Psalm 31.4)
A community like this could emerge again. Until then, I find myself holding onto a few mantras that I believe could help give life to others searching for the same.
Assume the best in others. Even if you know they have different agendas, offer compassion, be understanding, and do what is in the best interest of the community.
Offer to help. Everyone could use a hand, even when s/he does not think they need one. Be present, supporting, and willing to do something that makes life easier. The offer may not be accepted, but that is not the point. Try an offer that is string-free, even the acceptance.
Reach for your goals. Said another way, take care of yourself. From rest to exercise to relationships, make sure that you are not neglecting yourself. Loosing yourself is easy. Finding yourself and the path you were called to walk when you are struggling with bearings and context is difficult.
I look back and realize that for a time, I experienced freedom.