The sense of belonging somewhere. It is essential to well-being.
We all belong somewhere. Even if we do not feel it. We belong to a family, we belong to a culture, we belong to a friend group. We belong to ourselves, to our lives, to our loves and to our commitments to whatever it is we are here to do.
And yet it can often feel as if we do not belong. I know that feeling very well.
I have felt very alone, the odd one out, the weird one, the one that does not quite fit. Because I am more sensitive, more particular or care more about other things than the people around me. I have felt often that I did not belong, for whatever reason, real or imagined.
I know I am not alone in this. I see this in many people around me. Because you see, knowing you belong and feeling you belong are two hugely different things.
In my experience, being told that you belong is helpful. It is a good start. Yet working on the felt sense / experiential level of what you are feeling on a moment-to-moment basis, is what really starts shifting things. And believe me, I wanted to shift things, as not feeling a part of something sucks.
Here is what I did, supported by my best friend. Every time I felt utterly alone, I imagined her, being with me. If she was near or far, it did not matter: imagining her helped me feel less alone and at the bare minimum part of our tribe of two. But the interesting thing that happened, is that as soon as I imagined that, spaces started opening up in me and I felt more connected to other people, places and moments around me as well. And every time I did that, it became a little easier. My nervous system calmed down and where there used to be emptiness it started to fill with love, relaxation and yes: a sense of belonging.
I used to do this a lot everyday. And nowadays I feel I belong a lot of the time. It feels good. My baseline of ease and comfort has grown much stronger. I still have shitty days. But the practice makes it easier to shift from “all by myself” to a sense of community, and unity as well. It is like flipping a switch.
You too belong to a tribe. And you have your legitimate space in that tribe. There is no other being that can fill the hole that is carved out for you. Because you are unique, and for that simple reason you belong.
If you needed somebody to tell you today that you are a part of this: here it is. You belong. On this earth, in this moment, in this life, with these people.
And if you struggle with this: start telling yourself. Over and over. Feel into the people in your life. Imagine them being close even if they are not physically so. And slowly rewire your patterning around this, so you will feel like you belong a little more every day.
Until it becomes normal and you can fully embody your rightful place in this world and in your life.