Where Do I Find A Sense of Belonging?
I want to give you permission to have all your feelings about where you are told you belong, where you truly belong, and where you want to belong.
When showing up a certain way is a prerequisite for belonging, your whole, beautiful, messy, wild self cannot thrive and belong.
For me, the most important belonging is belonging to myself.
If I don't belong to myself, I can't truly connect with anyone else. Connection with others that does not honor myself will always veer to the codependent, anxious, withdrawn, dismissive, superficial, or aloof.
There was such a long period of time in my life when the trade-off for belonging (i.e. being warmly accepted) meant not fully belonging to myself. I side-stepped precious parts of myself in order to be accepted by family, God, and my church community. Much of my adult life has been a journey back to myself. To let all those parts of me belong.
There is some readjustment of outside relationships, but it’s worth it to fully belong to myself. And the relationships I choose to create now are ones that do fully embrace my whole self. For example I love it when my husband tells me: You Do You. That’s right, I will.
"I belong every place. I belong no place. I belong to myself."
(Paraphrase of Maya Angelou)
I love the thoughts Brené Brown gathered about belonging and fitting in:
- Belonging is being somewhere where you want to be, and they want you. Fitting in is being somewhere where you want to be, but they don’t care one way or the other.
- Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else.
- If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.
(Braving the Wilderness p.160)
Part of the reason I love being a therapist and self-trust coach is that I get to give the gift of real belonging. Good therapy gives you the space to be real, messy, and all of who you are. And you are met with open arms, radical acceptance, and support.
Bring all your messy, wild, wonderful self. You belong.
If you’re looking for a place to belong, and recover from your religious upbringing at the same time, check out my Trust Yourself Again Group.