“There is always someone who doesn’t satisfy my need or someone who irritates me. Community is not some sentimental ideal place or time where everybody lives together, loves each other, and always gets along. That’s never going to happen. Rather, in living together we come to realize that community doesn’t require or offer total emotional harmony. It offers us the context where we try to love one another and receive the love and care of others.”
— Henri Nouwen, “Spiritual Direction.” He’s got a lot of tough things to say about not idealizing community. He goes on in this section to reinforce the idea that community isn’t broken people living together out of mutual loneliness. Instead, it’s “solitude greeting solitude.” And solitude, when you accept who you are, must come first.