We moved to Florida three years ago today from Minnesota driving 1,900 miles in three days. In those three day I developed  a pain in my right hip, probably caused imagesby the way I was sitting in the car. The pain has not gone away despite my efforts, including self-hypnosis. Finally, to check off one more box, I went to the orthopedic doctor, and while he didn’t fix anything, he did give me a diagnosis. My SI joint. The SI joint is all about balance and stability. The SI is about our support system, our tribe. The Aha moment arrived. When I left Minnesota, I left my tribe.

In Florida I’ve met lovely people and made some good friends, but I’ve not found my tribe. I think when I do finally find them, and I will, the SI joint issue will resolve perfectly.

Often the healers in a tribe are the strange ones who are pushed to the edge of the village, and while there, realize there is nothing they could ever do to fit in, to be invited back to the center again. They discover a new freedom to explore their own unique path. In the silence of being alone, they hear the still small voice within. There is strength in those who survive at the edge of the village, but also, there are deep wounds. The pain of those wounds is soothed by finally meeting with those of like-mind and like-experience and finally finding the support of the tribe.

For those, like me, who have found themselves pushed out of the tribe a time or two; there is a lasting fear of it happening again, of abandonment. We would rather be alone, then go along with a tribe we disagree with or that does not value our uniqueness and feed our soul. We would rather be alone and safe, than alone in a crowd.

My little dog, Pip, is very old and becomes disoriented and anxious. This has gotten worse since the loss of his housemate, our labrador, Dobby. I am his lone point of security, his pack. That means that as best as I am able, I need to put aside my own personal independence and see to Pip’s wellbeing and comfort. I am now bringing him into my workspace when I do readings for clients. (Please let me know if you have allergies to pet dander.) I takGetAttachment-1e him in the car on short errands that don’t require me to leave the car for more than a few seconds. I don’t take long walks on the beach.

I am discovering what it means to be fiercely myself and independent and also a committed member of the tribe, accepting my responsibilities fully and completely. This is not an easy balance. I’m feeling housebound, but I see that Pip is my great teacher.

I am recognizing all around me how this longing for tribe is affecting individuals, communities and whole countries. In our political dramas where we are seeing divisiveness between races and parties, there is also a deep longing and raised cry to unify and come together as one.

imgresI read tarot for a young man who spent a lot of time alone as a child, a lack of tribe.  He’d like a family, but he is struggling to even find a few friends. He has little faith in the loyalty of others. I’ve read for a mother who won’t let her thirty-something son grow up and so he has struggled to find his independence within his tribe and she’s afraid of being abandoned by hers. The result is physical illness and codependency. I’ve read for so many people lately who have a lot of  acquaintances, but no one they can tell their deepest secrets to for fear they will be pushed out of the village. Just an hour ago, I read for a woman whose children  refuse to answer her phone calls. Her whole body is aching with longing for them. She was worried she might have cancer. Ethically, I will never tell someone they have cancer. I’m not a doctor. But the cards showed her that the pain is from loss of tribe. Her tears tell me this is a truth for her.

We need our tribe. Tribe is healthy when it celebrates us for who we are, when it holds us accountable to our commitments to one another, and when it is there to support us. Tribe is unhealthy when we must subvert our individuality to retain membership, when we don’t show up for each other and when no one is there for us when we need them most.

Some tribes, even healthy ones, are not meant to last forever. Years ago I put together an Artists’ Way Group inviting 10 people who were blocked artists to meet once a week for 12 weeks as we followed the program as created by Julia Cameron. Our group lasted years beyond the initial 12 weeks. During that time we were the very picture of a healthy tribe. Then our time together began to come to a close. Just as Cameron described how this happens in the last chapter of her book, commitments began to break down and we got busy doing other things. We finally blessed one another as we disbanded.

Tribes are formed by mutual kindness, by shared experiences, by love. Tribes take time to form, so patience is helpful. Tribes take a willingness to give, as well as a willingness to receive.We all desire to be loved, to be seen for who we are and be accepted. All of us want to feel that there are those who have our backs. On all levels, physical,  emotional and spiritual, we need our tribe.

 

 

    The Wall
    Snake Lesson

    4 Comments

    1. 7-26-2016

      Thank you Cyndie. This was so right on for me. I have always felt on the edge of the tribe I was with also knowing I would be supported if need be. I have traveled with several tribes in my life so far,each feeling complete at the ending of each. I’m just kinda hangin, right now. No tribe in sight. It will come when I’m ready.?

    2. 7-26-2016

      Love this

    3. 7-27-2016

      I connected with this on so many levels. So many! Shared this on my facebook page as well.

    4. 7-27-2016

      Oh, Cynthia. I wish that I could reach across the Internet and give you a big hug right now! I get what you are going through. Finding a new tribe is not always easy! I have faith, though. You’ll find them. Until then, just keep reaching out and being yourself like you are. You are a wonderful gift!

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