Truly Appreciating the People in my Neighbourhood

I live in a small and old neighbourhood just outside one of the many cities in Australia. Having lived there for over 10 years I have noticed families come and go, with employment issues and downsizing of family units. What has been interesting to note in the last few months has been the selling and buying of a number of houses near me, and in recent weeks the home next door and one across the road.

The same real estate agent was organised to sell both homes and dropped past my front yard one day while I was gardening, asking if I could give her a short summary of the neighbourhood, as she was setting up a profile for potential clients moving into the area.

At first I was surprised to hear this question coming from a real estate agent as I had this instant crazy belief that all ‘real estate agents were out to make money’ and were not interested in supporting anyone to get the best location and price for a new home. It was interesting to note how I could feel my body move in protection and my head move straight into setting up a facts profile of what to share about my neighbours:

  • Old married couple across the road
  • Gay couple in the house adjacent
  • Mother and disabled daughter next door
  • Single gay woman with overseas students homestay two houses down
  • Young couple with a newborn on the corner block.

Even though this was a factual account, there was nothing that had dropped into my head that was truly sharing what a great community I live in.

I knew at that moment that what had played out was the instant load of ideals and beliefs that are constantly on standby waiting for us to take or leave about the world and how we see each other.

It made me realise the ways in which we project towards each other and assume another to be without stopping to feel what is the intent of each person’s words, including our own.

Do we speak to heal or harm?

Many times, the judgement that comes with ideals and beliefs often clouds both people from sharing what is on offer to appreciate about the exchange and see what can be offered to everyone in the long run.

I knew that none of these thoughts were true as the movements in my body said it all and stopped me from sharing the realness we share as a community together.

The ideals and beliefs were blinding me from hearing that this real estate agent was genuine in asking about the place – and what better way than to ask those who live here? What I did choose to give in return was a snapshot of the diverse backgrounds of each and every home, and what each person brings:

  • The old married couple who bring in my garbage bins from the kerb each week and always stop for a chat, come rain or shine.
  • The deeply loving gay couple who regularly open up their home for us all to enjoy their built-in pool, all year round.
  • The mother and disabled daughter who offer support with recycling projects in the neighbourhood and gladly offer to mind pets when families go away on holidays.
  • The single gay woman who has a heart of gold and offers her home to many students and people new to the country with affordable accommodation close to the city.
  • The tender and loving father of the newborn child next door who often asks for gardening advice and is a whiz at supporting with ‘handyman jobs’ around the house.
  • His wife, a beautiful woman who constantly reflects the importance of staying steady and honouring herself as she spends time nurturing her newborn.

This is my neighbourhood. A place where there is no perfection but a community of people who are all playing their part to support one another, and in doing so have broken down the beliefs and ideals I have held about people in general and how a community should be. This group of men, women and children who live in my street bring such a sense of community and family that it has deepened my understanding of the importance of being part of a community and what we can all offer each other when we make life about supporting one another, deepening our relationships and opening our hearts.

Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

By Anonymous

Related Reading:
Community Living
What is Connection?
The Roseto Effect – A lesson on the true cause of heart disease

561 thoughts on “Truly Appreciating the People in my Neighbourhood

  1. People have lots of great qualities, seeing those can help us to break down the hardness, protection and isolation we often feel. We may technically be “strangers” but we are not that strange to each other, in fact we are all pretty similar with different degrees of hurts, beliefs, and underneath that lots of gorgeous qualities.

  2. Being appreciative of what we have around us is supper supportive in all we do and as we develop a relationship with appreciation it can hold us to the next level of purpose-full-ness that we can appreciate.

  3. Lovely to feel your appreciation of everyone. Community helps to break down the barriers blood family can have, so that we can widen our understanding of family to include everyone around us. I liked your words about having an open heart too, protection can gradually creep in until we realise we are loaded with beliefs and negative expectations about people and are shut off from others.

    1. So true Melinda, being open and transparent shares so much, and along with the decency and respect we are living and sharing with everyone, opens us to others within our community.

  4. Your question “Do we speak to heal or harm?” struck me today and asked me to ponder on it a little more deeply. Do we only say what is needed to say, or do we indulge and say what we want to say regardless of the impact or the outcome?

  5. What a lovely heartfelt blog about living in a community! when we let go of the ideals and beliefs there is a wealth of experience to share about the actual love and consideration there is amongst your neighbours. This is something to cherish as we become more separated from each other.

  6. “. . . it has deepened my understanding of the importance of being part of a community and what we can all offer each other when we make life about supporting one another, deepening our relationships and opening our hearts.” What a great appreciation for your community Anonymous and also a wonderful reflection what is possible and also a great invitation to have a look at our own community!

  7. Dropping our ‘guard’ so to speak is what allows us to see more truth around us. It is about being transparent and honest and not hiding anything and yet at the same time being open to seeing all that is there to be seen in others and in situations. This is a gift – though in my experience it is something that I work on daily and at times find challenging to do because of the ideal and beliefs that can kick in to try to control. That said it is like I have an addiction to these ideals and beliefs and that they are not really controlling me but there is something about them that I seem to seek out in order to not make it as easy for myself as it could be! This sounds warped but it does feel so true!

  8. How we choose to see the world and the people around us is key in how we will describe them to another. We can choose to see the full picture which is the beauty and the facts, or we can choose to focus just on the facts and make interpretations that do not deliver the whole.

    1. Yes, I can see that Henrietta, it is what our eyes choose to receive and also what our ears choose to hear in the question being asked than influences what we offer back.

  9. I can so relate to that instant load of ideals and beliefs you talk about here. It’s quite amazing how fixated our beliefs really are, and even when we like to think we are being discerning, it is very possible we are just referring back to our past experience as the template to form a judgment, and not really allowing a situation to unfold and be felt for what it is.

  10. Anonymous, reading this article makes me realise that none of us are perfect and that we can all accept each other and offer love and support in our communities.

  11. Anonymous, I can feel how we can let judgement and pictures stop us from connecting with people in our community. If we don’t hold a picture of who we think we can be close with and instead allow ourselves to see the beauty in others then we can build loving relationships with those around us. I love this; ‘A place where there is no perfection but a community of people who are all playing their part to support one another, and in doing so have broken down the beliefs and ideals I have held about people in general and how a community should be.’

  12. I love reading this article about community, this stands out for me; ‘the importance of being part of a community and what we can all offer each other when we make life about supporting one another, deepening our relationships and opening our hearts.’ I moved from a closely knit community to a new street, what was interesting was that I judged my new street to not be as open and friendly as my pervious, but I found that if I opened upto people that this then allowed others to do the same and now I love my new street and those who live there, I feel that we can build these supportive and loving relationships wherever we go.

    1. That’s true Rebecca, sometimes have to be the person who breaks down the walls first by being friendly and open. We are not so different really as human beings.

    2. Opening up to each other can be almost magical. When we truly open ourselves up then it’s almost impossible for another not to do the same. We’re like flowers in the sun, we can’t help but open it’s our natural instinct.

  13. Beautifully highlighting how our openness to each other, to feel the essence of who, we are paves the way for us all to live in greater understanding and harmony together, regardless of how diverse and different our lifestyles and background are as we come to see that in essence we are not so different after all. If we cannot manage to do this is our neighborhoods how will the world ever change. Thank you for sharing how possible and beautiful living in true community is.

    1. Yes that is so true, if we cannot do it in the micro, we have no hope for the macro. Saying that, it clearly only takes a few micros to influence the macro so let’s build that way of living in our lives so it can be the best contagion ever!

  14. I always kept most neighbours on a distance with the exuse that I have a busy life, which I have.
    But the true reason was that I always lived a kind of protected, not letting people in.
    But I do more naturally people come to me and talk.
    It is so rich for the heart as I love to connect with people especially now I am more in beholding of love.

  15. We all have precious inner qualities and abilities that feel very natural and genuine in each one. Yet not so many often stop to appreciate this fact. Instead of that, judging ourselves, gossiping or comparing with others is so normal that we don’t even question it. A true change would take place in this society if we stop to see and feel the beauty within and all around us. When something is truly appreciated in someone all may be changed, we together can strenghten our abilty to see how beautiful we are and with that any kind of jealousy or comparison can’t take place. The way we think, behave, move and be with ourselves and others matters, even though we have ignored it for so long.

    1. How beautiful Inma, thank you, you really touched my heart. You have shared the truth about love.

  16. I suppose a key factor is in not expecting what community must look like according to what we see on the TV, but rather in letting it unfold before us as we live together on streets and in neighbourhoods.

    1. Yes, to not have pictures based on another persons ideals because actually someone who is very angry could easily be ignored and seen as one to avoid and yet that just perpetuates the separation. Letting things unfold and being present offers a blank slate all round.

  17. Gosh you have just shared what a difference it makes when we connect to our body and express from here instead of reel off everything that comes to the mind if we are not present with ourselves.

  18. We are together, whether we know it or not, and it is in the small gestures that we can know that we are never alone.

  19. I love living in a community where people help each other and support each other whenever possible. No matter where we are, we can always offer our community a reflection of the way we live that shares an openness, care and willingness to support.

  20. This example shows how holding back what we feel and saying just the bare minimum can be so harming. When you just sum up the types of people living in the neighbourhood anyone can fill in anything from their ideals and beliefs about for instance, old people, gay people, newborns etc. But with the full expression of your experience there is no room for filling in the details as they are given.

  21. It is interesting how the ideals and beliefs we hold can interfere with accepting life as it is, causing us to judge and resist what true community really is.

    1. Yes I agree with you Jennym, and when we meet each other with ideals and beliefs, everyone misses out on true community and brotherhood.

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