For most of my life, I have struggled with belonging. I so desperately wanted to belong and be liked and loved that I morphed myself to be who I thought everyone wanted or expected. The cost to me was great. I ended up morphing myself so much that I thought I could no longer be me because if I did no one would want me and I would be alone. In those days the thought of being alone was more painful than not being me.
The cost was the emotional turmoil that I would go through trying to be liked. If you have ever done this you know the more you hide yourself the harder it is to like yourself let alone love yourself. It wears on your self-esteem and you get to a point where your egoic mind is telling you all the reasons you don’t belong. You become your own bully and use hurtful dialogue on yourself. Have I hit any buttons for you yet?
Interestingly a few years ago I became part of a group and one of the things we laughed about was being part of the not belonging club. At first, I thought it was funny but that changed because I started to feel like I didn’t belong in the group. I was trying too hard to have people like me and to be included when all I wanted to do was just be me. You see I had gotten to the point in my journey that being anything other than me was more painful. All the years of hiding and wanting desperately to be liked had taken their toll on me and now all I wanted to do was stand in my courageous heart and be me yet my egoic mind would still on occasion take me down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it would be the reverse rabbit hole because I would do the fine I’ll just be on my own. I’m fine being alone. Of course, I’m not because I love being around people and have juicy conversations. What was happening though was I was blurring all the lines of being authentically me, being liked, being loved, and belonging. I was at the painful spot again of feeling the only way to be a part of a group was to mold myself and I knew that was not the answer.
I asked many people the questions surrounding this and the answers varied. There was, however, a common thread that wound through them and it was I needed to belong in my heart because that is truly the only place any of us are meant to belong. At the same time, a friend recommended I read Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness. It was a great book. I wrote down the following quote from it.
“True belonging is a spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself
so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find
sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.
True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to
be who you are.” – Brené Brown
So the next time you are questioning whether you belong try to remember you belong in the most sacred place there is your own heart!