I’ve been trying to find a definition for the word “community” that truly describes what I have seen develop across the state. I found one that states:

“In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.”

I found an anonymous quote that I think explains my feelings of what I see as a community much better. It is:

“Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed, or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We all can treat one another with dignity and respect, provide opportunities to grow toward our fullest lives and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others.”

This is what I see every time I observe a Procovery Circle. I see a community of individuals, treating each other with respect and dignity, helping each other discover, develop and grow using the inner strength, experiences and truths that each posses. I don’t just see the 6, 13 or 22 individuals in that Circle. I see the thousands of individuals in Circles all across the state. I see how we have come together for a common purpose, to move forward. I see how we are all more alike than we are different and the same hopes and dreams are alive in Hayti and Kansas City. We may have all come from a different past, be at a different present and hope to go to a different future, but we all need the same thing to get there. We need HOPE! We have found that Hope within ourselves through Procovery® and each other. We have shared, laughed, cried and celebrated together. A community we are indeed and each of us is an important part. I ask you to find your own definition of community and really think about what it means to belong to something.

I leave you with one final quote:

“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” –Starhawk

-Mickie McDowell, Procovery Forum Facilitator, Missouri

This blog was written by Mickie McDowell, guest blogger, as part of our Procovery: Through My Eyes blog series.