There is another benefit to belonging to a group that has less to do with protection and more to do with self-awareness.
In modern times, we like to group into communities based on things we have in common. We may find later we have more or less in common than we’d originally thought. From this point, we have an option to disengage with any groups that turn out to be leading us off our path. This path is navigated by following a sacral response to what makes us feel good. Of course, we have to be conscious of whether or not the feeling we chase is also beneficial to us beyond fulfilling a desire. Coming from the perspective of our own divine power, we can remain on the high road with a birds-eye view.
I’ve become a member of several groups. With each additional group, I adopt different opinions of myself based on how I act and how I’m received. It is usually the groups within which I am able to be the purest version of myself, that I appreciate time with most. I enjoy having a community in which I learn through co-exploration of the mind. I also have a strong need for my spiritual community, in which I can be a wild woman or a bewildered participant. Exposure and humility give me a clearer picture of my real identity. Every uncomfortable situation I participate in prepares me for future challenges. The greater the number of groups, the greater the variety of personas to alchemize.
Humans didn’t always have much of a choice when it came to community. Either they stayed with the community in which they were born or they took a huge risk to go find another to assimilate into. The work within the community was divided amongst members based on where their skills and interests intersected with the needs of the group. Its probably safe to assume that these people knew each other and about each other very well. Living and working together affords a lot of time for chatting. Surely there was an awareness that, no matter how difficult it was to get along with some members, it was worth it to remain safe in the group.
Increasing the number of groups to which we belong also allows us to cancel the memberships that are not elevating us to our greatest potential. When our contributions are undervalued, we get discouraged. The more time we spend feeling under appreciated, the less time we have to get excited about where we can apply our efforts toward something more meaningful to us. This isn’t so obvious because we like to stay comfortable around people we know or people that have started to predict a certain type of behavior from us. If we focus on the groups that have the greatest amount of respect for our efforts, we steer ourselves toward a life of fulfillment and deep appreciation.
Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa