Awaiting Inspiration

Posted: August 18, 2018 by Ty in Belonging Pyramid
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Me: “no matter where you are in your lifespan, there is always a (re)new call (passion) awaiting your answer.” (From Facebook convo on my article Renewing the Life(span) 08/18/2016


40th b-day gifts from wife & kids– awaiting inspiration.

Belonging is hard. It is like trying to figure out how to make friends when you no longer have the diversified/randomized table groupings of elementary school– before the cliques of higher grades take over. Cliques that continue into adulthood whether we want to acknowledge them or not. Just look at most of your social groupings whether religious, community or other are very homogeneous because moving outside of the comfortable norm leaves us in the discomfort of not knowing.

I am an abnormality in my world. I am raising my children in the home I was brought home to as a baby. My daughter, attends the Vacation Bible School I attended in grade school. Our neighbours who are still around who would watch out for the Ragan boys, still have a Ragan boy in my son to keep their eyes out for. Many look at me weird when they hear I am from North East Calgary. I am blessed to be apart of this mosaic. We are the most diverse communities in the Properties culturally, ethnically, gender-sexual identity, abilities, religiously and economically most likely in Alberta and one of them within Canada. Yes, the beauty that is Canada, our welcoming and Just Society, is just outside my doors. My kids get to live the world within a few blocks and I wouldn’t have it any other way (heck our Canada Day BBQ is thrown by the largest Mosque in North America, I was blessed to be there when the foundation stone was laid).

What does this have to do with belonging you ask? It is a good question. Accessibility of life is about physicality of space. Inclusion is just simply we are allowed to exist. Authentic belonging, well that is hard. It is, simply put, knowing who you are, who your neighbour is… and not letting it be a barrier (and authentically missing that neighbour when they are gone).

Within scope of my ministry work some examples this was seen in the church/non-church member; those with disabilities or mental health concerns. Within my non-profit work it was experienced in some instances as aiding those leaving sexual exploitation/trafficking as a child, stepping out of addiction in to healing, our Veterans, refugees, temporary foreign workers, those case out from their families, those who could not make ends meet or are escaping violence in all its forms. Better understood as simply becoming who one is meant to be. In some instances of community building it was helping residents of buildings move beyond concept of affordable vs. market rent payers to be simply, neighbours. Many self created barriers on many levels to keep us separated. The barrier is comfort. The clique is stability.

Too often that is what happens. We travel in the same circles, even in the mosaic. Not realizing that there are intersections, where we are neighbour. Where each of us can learn and discover from one another. Where we can laugh, share life, extend our hands in welcome. Where diversity is our strength, because we do not see it as a barrier, but as many ways to ensure everyone is brought along on the journey.

One could say I dislike change by sharing the story of where I live. This may be, or perhaps it is simply where we are meant to be for this season until the next move. What the quote in the conversation above was tying into from a rather convoluted article before. It is about realizing within our life and life circumstances there is always something awaiting for us to answer.

As I challenged previously about responding to your passion.

Today I ask: What does it take to create belonging within your community?

Are you willing to risk belonging?

A P.S. on simplicity and belonging from the Washington Post (as well as answering one’s call in different seasons of life). Read here.


  1. Dust Jacket Reviews-Archives | Ty Ragan, Psy.D, CJ says:

    […] Provoking” about Awaiting Inspiration (part of Belonging […]

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