When we talk about the “thing” that most supports our growth, development, and healing journey we are talking about deep relationships. For many in my counseling office, it is the lack of deeply connected relationships that makes healing hard, growth a struggle, and self doubt so easy to receive!
In today’s short blog, I want to offer some tidbits about “belonging”. More descriptors than definitions, these ideas will give you a place to start thinking about closely connected relationships.
A place… We sometimes talk about belonging in a certain place. The town we grew up in, or the home in which we were a child. But a location without relationships doesn’t generate belonging very effectively. It is the people that were in your story at that time which made you feel a sense of belonging. They saw you, and invited you to be with them in safety. The cumulative experience of those moments in that place made you feel like you belonged.
An age… We learned experientially at a very young age if we belonged. “How young”, you ask? Your sense of belonging today is driven by what you experienced between 0-4 years. Your body, or neurology, was “taught” what your needs were, and whether or not those needs would be met. What your body was taught, your mind began to try to interpret.
A sense… Belonging has emotions. Cumulatively, they form a complex “sense” of what it means to belong. When that friend with whom you belong enters the room, you feel drawn towards them. You may also feel excited or positive about their presence. When you sit and talk you feel yourself relaxing your guard. Moving towards an internal place of rest, you feel compelled to share, because your body knows that “being known” is part of belonging. You walk away from the time with them feeling grounded and like “you” is OK.
Today, you can begin the journey of belonging as part of your present story. You can deliberately pursue relationships that resonate! Others can help you receive your true self. You will likely need some help on that journey. Who will you turn to for guidance in this deep area of well-being?