Modern tribes & resilience

I was hesitant, very hesitant, to go back to the Netherlands threeandahalf years ago after many long travels. What is there for me? This society is too fast, the weather is too cold. Yet I was drawn back to my home country and here I am. Still here. What I found is beyond what I could have ever imagined. What I found is that what I believed not to be existent in this ‘modern world’. I found my tribe.

It looks different than I imagined. We don’t have big rings through our lips. We don’t grow our food together (yet). We don’t live in bamboo huts. But the feeling is very much like I imagined: connected, warm, safe. It touches me again and again that I can meet someone and in an instant recognize: you are like me. I see myself in you. You are from the same tribe.


I see us as a modern tribe: we’re not a set group of people. We don’t necessarily come from the same culture. We live in our own houses. We have different perspectives on how to live our lives. But there are shared values that are carried by the people: care for the earth, care for each other, a devotion to bringing light, a dedication to meeting and transforming the dark.


And as I feel myself more and more open to surrendering to this way of connection, I am realizing: this is what this world needs. We all need a tribe. This is not meant to be a exception, or a rarety. We need to belong somewhere. We need a group of people where we feel safe, where we are heard, where we can heal our pain.


I am not a separate self, nor are you. My pain is not a separate pain, nor is yours. My story and your story are interconnected. I am not free when you are not. It is a huge mistake to think that I need to do this life alone, or even with one partner. It is a mistake to believe that I need to bear the consequences of my own ‘mistakes’. That I need to heal my own wounds. That I am on an individual path. This is separation speaking. Healing cannot happen on your own. You cannot go sit in an ivory tower and heal the wounding, that is not even only yours to begin with. I have noticed a huge shift in my life since I know there are people who’ve got my back. There is always a homecoming, no matter where I go. I can fall apart and there are people willing to pick up the pieces with me. I can mess up, and there are those who will lovingly hold me when I clean up the mess. This brings a life that is resilient: it can move, it’s fluid and flexible. Tribes bring resilience. And this is exactly what our world lacks at the moment: resilience.


I wish for you, when my words spark something in you, that you keep faith. That you go and reach out to the ones that you feel in resonance with. And when that doesn’t seem possible, maybe just one person. That you invite vulnerability in your connections. That you take that step to show your heart, your longing for connection. You need it. Everyone does. Go, and create the world you want to live in.


In deep gratitude and awe of this life, Aranka photo credits to: Marjolein Aarten. Photo taken at Play Festival, 2020.


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