It is our deeply human wish, our longing, that we belong to a community of souls where we feel safe and secure, able to be our true selves — show our natural emotions — and to live not only free of judgments but deliciously affirmed for being who we really are.

No pretense, just our essence. Martin Prechtel, the Shaman, writes, “People’s longing for each other and for the terrain of home is so enormous; (we need) a waiting village of open-armed, laughing elders who know compassion and grasp the complexity of the spirit world well enough to catch us.”

To create this village, this beloved community, and accept the ones we are a part of already, we must make peace with the various parts of ourselves that clamor for attention.

We must gently let go of the isolating roles we play: Judge, Victim, Caretaker, Seeker, Sage, Inner Child, Skeptic, Fearful Self, among others.

This inner work, this purification, is the foundation for membership in community.

As African ritualist Malidoma Some says: “A community is a place of self definition. Any group of people meeting with the intention of connecting to the power within is a community.”

Intending to be in a community involves a leap of faith.

Leaving your old roles behind allows the creation of your Beloved Community by being your true self.

Yes, it is often lonely out there, but as you deepen your trust in your authentic self you will attract community members to you: People like authenticity.

Remember to allow delight and openness to new members showing up from unfamiliar places, in new ways, surprising you with their availability.

We are already members of many communities at the same time.

Examples are described by place (supermarket or farmer’s market), neighborhood (we live on Munjoy Hill), cyberspace (Facebook, Twitter), purpose (we’re working for the same cause), school (we’re classmates), family (we’re related), work (we have a common goal), race (we’re kin), gender (we’re women or men), age (we’re a similar age), art (we create or appreciate similar art), sport (we’re a team), touch (we’re close), travel (we’re in this new place together), history (we share a past), passion (we care), and spirit (we meditate or worship together), etc.

The more communities you discover in which to participate, which happens naturally with aging and staying in the same location, the more choices to join you have.

Boundaries melt away to reveal less duality and more communion.

We are all part of Creation, the ultimate Beloved Community.

The Rev. Jacob Watson, D.Min., is the founding abbot of the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine and the author of “Morning Blessing Letters, A Book of Daily Gifts.”

He can be reached at [email protected] or 761-2522