What’s it like round here?


Seth Godin often pops something into my inbox that shows me a way to say something I’m struggling to find a way to say and to share…

Community standards

“What’s it like around here?”

It’s a fair question to ask about an office, a home, a town…

“Why do people act like that, talk like that, treat others that way?”

The only reason they do is because we let them. People can’t violate community standards for long without being asked to leave the community. Either that, or the standards change.

– Seth Godin


Life is hard and dealing with a lifetime of pain is hard. For everyone.

In support groups we try to make a bit more space than we might find  elsewhere – but there are limits to what people can bear.

When we take up all the space for our own pain we pass on the hurt to others.
Hurt people hurt people. 

Understanding our own pain and choosing to limit our capacity to pass it on is a step in finding compassion and making difficult the choice to contribute to a less violent world – a world that is easier to live in.

Still, if we consistently insist on imposing our crap on a group, with hostility, bullying, aggression and violence towards the group and the individuals in it; when we  deal with our pain by throwing our shit around the room and expecting others to just put-up-and-shut-up, then we can expect to be asked to leave.

Sometimes, when we are trying to create and offer safe spaces we have to do the hard thing and ask someone to leave.

Being asked to leave does not mean you can’t come back – that’s within your gift and your choice.

If you come to one of our groups or gatherings all we ask is that you take responsibility for your part in co-creating safety for each other.

And if you can’t do that for now- or if you choose not to – then we ask you to come back when you can.


About recoverynetwork:Toronto

We believe people can and do recover from "mental illness" - because we are living it. We believe in the power of supporting each other: learning from and with each other. You are welcome to join us..
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2 Responses to What’s it like round here?

  1. Thanks willowispapeiro,
    It is not easy.

    I like your “Having others experience my pain when they choose to do so supports me in finding my way through”
    I’m with you, such a very important part of healing is to feel felt, as is seeking the consent of the people with whom we share and how, and when we do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dont know what a “mental health problem” is.
    I do have a pretty good idea what violence looks like.
    I will not hold open spaces for others to use to bring their violence to people who, likely, have already seen enough violence.

    If you want to do that then go ahead.


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