Many of us humans, for many valid reasons, find it hard to let people in.
While I consider myself to be something of an open book, I’m aware that the reason I trust easily is because I have had very few experiences of having my trust betrayed. This is a privilege that I do not take for granted.
Many/most folks who call The Dale home do not share this privilege. For many of our friends, having their trust betrayed is the rule, not the exception. It’s no wonder that it can take years for trusting relationships to form in the context of community, when the assumption is that the other party involved will eventually stab you in the back.
This is why it’s a really big deal when our friends not only allow us into their hearts, but also their homes. Some of our folks couch surf or shelter hop. But others have a room in a rooming house, or an apartment in a relatively affordable building. Many of these housed friends do not consider their place to be “home”- it’s simply a place to sleep, and/or a place that becomes overwhelming due to the tendency to hoard. This tendency is understandable, when scarcity is the overwhelming trend in someone’s life.
Over the last few months and years we’ve had more and more experiences of people at The Dale allowing us into their spaces, in order to help bring a bit of order to the reigning chaos. This is always such an honour.
I realized last week that we’d turned a corner in our relationship with a community member when they allowed not only me/Erinn/Meagan (people they know well) to come and clean, but one of our wonderful summer interns (who is new to this friend). It took years for this friend to let us in, but only a week to let in a new person who was assumed to be trustworthy because she’s with us. Wow 🙂
Being let in. It never gets old.