If you are feeling a little lost or unmoored these days, it is likely, in part, because you don’t know who your friends are. Who can I trust? Who is safe? Who believes in me?
You’d never say that out loud…you don’t want to come off as needy but, let’s be honest, sometimes we wonder who loves us. With whom do I fit anymore? Who is my tribe?
Over the last month, in my blog and newsletter I have been exploring anomie…its symptoms and solutions. Anomie is, in essence, the state of being unanchored. Other descriptors: unmoored, ungrounded, adrift. It’s a condition that is leaving many of us depressed, hopeless, confused, anxious and just plain lost. Please go back and read my previous posts and add a comment or two!
I suggested there are three prime ways to restore the foundation of your life. Three anchors. Three solutions to anomie.
- I will be anchored as I do the hard work of determining my core values.
- I will be anchored as I identify my tribe, the community that loves and believes in me.
- I will be anchored as I clarify my purpose in life, the calling that moves me from acquisition to contribution.
My two previous posts have focused on reestablishing your core values.
What are your beliefs that help you know the difference between right and wrong?
What is the internal compass of principles that drive your life?
What standards motivate your decisions and behavior?
What values define your success and well-being?
It’s hard soulish work to go through but, I promise, as you do, you’ll feel your feet on more solid ground – less adrift, more settled.
Let’s go further. Let’s talk about who loves you and with whom you are safe…your tribe.
Something very strange and awful happened to many of us in the middle of COVID. We became estranged from a lot of the people we used to hang out with. Maybe it was the isolation. Maybe it was the battle over face masks and vaccines. Or maybe because so many ideological and political disagreements came to a head. Whatever it was, we started cancelling each other and avoided being in the same room with “them”. Couple this with the virtual Zooming of the workplace and our people dropped like flies.
This great de-friending became the capstone of a many decades-long movement of intentional isolation. For years we’ve been bailing on communal activities, leaving us bereft of friends and even casual acquaintances.
“Fifty-four percent of Americans report feeling as though no one knows them well at least sometimes, if not always. Additionally, at least two in five also say they sometimes/always feel as though they lack companionship, that their relationships are not meaningful, that they are isolated from others, and/or that they are no longer close to anyone.” From Ipsos, a market research company report.
Sorry, I’m going to leave this right here. Next week I’d like to explore solutions…steps to re-friending…finding your tribe, where you belong and where you are loved.
But for now, here are some diagnostic questions that are worth considering.
Who could you call in the middle of the night to take you to the hospital?
Who would know if you were depressed or overly anxious?
With whom would you share a very important life decision?
Who are the people that you like to hang out with, who make you laugh?
Who is your mentor?
Whom do you mentor?
With whom could you hang out and not have to say a word?
Who are the people who ask you follow-up questions after they first wanna know how you are?
Which group of people do you feel comfortable around?
Who is not afraid to tell you what they see in you?
With which community or religious organization do you share the most core values?
If you can answer those questions, you’ll be able to identify your tribe and you’ll likely feel more anchored.
“The older I get, the more convinced I am that the space between communicating human beings can be hallowed ground.” Mr. (Fred) Rogers