We bring people together
I stumble down the stairs to get a bottle for the little guy. My body is shaky, both from the chill that Fall has brought and the utter exhaustion of a long night with much ado.
Re-entry has been hard this time, for a couple of reasons:
Even though it was only 3 nights, we were free to choose us. No kids. No agenda. No diapers. No schedules. No nighttime visitors. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?
The powerful nature of the human spirit. When 8,000 vibrant, positive, encouraging, uplifting people of all shapes and sizes align for the same good, it will bring down the house and light your soul.
The realities of leaving that behind and returning home to the everyday minutia without losing faith that #itspossible.
As we thoughtfully consider the meaning and purpose of our life, we always come back around to one, simple thing: We love people and we love bringing people together.
Here’s my truth: Too much of my life has been lived in the superficial. ‘Friends’ with everyone. Outgoing. Pleaser. Doer. Accomplisher. A seemingly happy, successful and have it all together kind of gal. But at my core: no real connection. That’s why this is so hard. This journey to the other side is unwrapping all of my baggage. I’m discovering some real truth about myself - thankfully and painfully.
In this fast paced, digital world, our culture dismisses meaning and connection for bigger, better and quicker. We are the most connected society that has ever existed, but also the most alone. We have wrapped our lives up in so much busy that we don’t have time for the real stuff anymore. I am starving for connection. Meaning. Authenticity. Sacrifice. I don’t think that I am alone. We have made life about the house, the cars, the honor roll, the vacations, the latest apple watch or who makes the best homemade play doh, when it should be about the richness of relationships. The tribe. The community. The people and the depth to which we allow ourselves to be seen by them.
As it turns out, my perfect life consists of a handful of close friends. They cry with me. They laugh with me. They tell me that my new haircut is a ‘nice change’ and that ‘orange really isn’t anyone’s color.’ They tell me when my parenting sucks and when I am killing it. They support me in pursuing my dreams, even when they may seem crazy. They stop by with dinner without warning. They bring over some wine, just because. They show up on my doorstep with a cake, even when I told them I wanted to be alone, because they knew I secretly wanted to be with someone, eating cake.
When we said YES to #onesimplechange, we had no idea that we were saying YES to people. To Community. To a TUFtribe of glorious, disastrous, joyful messes. To discovering that within this beautiful shitshow, love and grace and faith and hope can be found.
Did you know that elephants are one of the most socially complex groups in the animal kingdom? They have amazing tribe bonds. I love the representation in the picture above. As the mama elephant is birthing her new baby, the tribe circles around. They close ranks. They stomp the ground. They warn off predators. They protect the mama and her new baby. A little elephant community coming together because they know - stronger together. Here is the most beautiful part: once the baby is born, they raise their trunks and trumpet. A celebration of life and family and community.
When did we stop celebrating? When did our calendar start dictating our relationships? Why are we substituting material for meaning?
We have done it all wrong. We have pleased and perfected and proved our way through this life many times over. We’ve should’d and yes’d ourselves into the eyes of those who didn’t ever really see us while we broke the hearts of those who did. Not anymore. We want real. We want depth. We want unapologetic authenticity.
Today, our real purpose is to bring people together in deep and meaningful ways. To rock the cultural norm of better, faster, easier and slow it down and allow it to be hard and real and true. This is hard work. It take sacrifice and tenacity. It takes consistency and diligence and heart. Some of this is very new for us. Come sit at our table. We invite you to join us on our journey to change the world.
Food. Faith. Family. One person. One family. One community at a time.