21 Things L’Arche Has Taught Me

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As some of you guys may already know, i have been spending the past year living in L’arche Winnipeg as an assistant. L’Arche, to say the least, has been such a remarkable year of laugher, tears, memories, growth, friendships, and mistakes. I have learned about myself as an individual and also in the context of a team. I have laughed until i literally peed my pants and i have also shut myself in the bathroom to cry. I have made life long friendships and i have also had by heart broken. Despite all of this, would i live L’arche all over again? absolutely! In just over a week, i will be saying goodbye to L’Arche  Winnipeg as a live in assistant and to mark such a transition, i decided to share with you guys 21 things that i have learned this past year.

  1. Perspective check is key when resolving conflict. Half of our conflicts result from misunderstanding and failing to seek understanding.
  2. Earplugs are essential when living with nine other people. Beauty sleep people, beauty sleep
  3. Being a servant is not just serving others, but also allowing others to serve you
  4. People with developmental disability, just like us, have strengths and weakness. They may need our help, but it is very important that we are open to receive their help too
  5. Smile. Always. And Often.
  6. God’s ability to unconditionally love His children is mind-blowing. Now if only i could learn to do the same.
  7. Laugh. A lot. Until you Pee your pants. And continue to laugh.
  8. Living in Joy is an important element in building a strong community
  9. Be stupid. Be Crazy. And have Fun doing so.
  10. It’s okay to make mistakes. Just try again.
  11. First impressions do not always hold true. Be open and allow people to surprise you.
  12. It’s wonderful to be part of something greater than yourself
  13. Have grace for yourself and those around you.
  14. Breath when things get hurt. Or scream in the car with your windows up. Whatever you need.
  15. The bathroom is the best place to go when you need a moment. Or two.
  16. It’s possible as a 21 year old to become best friends with people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Age is just a number.
  17. It’s also possible to become best friends with people wth developmental disabilities. Their people; just like us. There is no us and them.
  18. A leadership team works well when everyones gift is not only acknowledge, but also utilized.
  19. Living with people with varying personalities, perspectives, religions, and culture  is REALLY hard. But also REALLY fun
  20. People with developmentally disabilities thrive best when their a part of a community. In fact, humans in generally thrive best when their a part of a community.
  21. Compromise and flexibility is key to community living.

 

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