Earlier in the year I read through my personal journals of the past 20 years. The yearning to belong was a theme that ran like a deep current under the waves of life that I tried to surf. On reflection I realised that the times when the waves felt like it was crushing down on me in a disruptive way, was the times when I felt I had lost my sense of belonging.
Trying to survive in a sea of uncertainty and desperately grasping at external “floating buoys” (such as accomplishments, money, love-fantasies, food, extreme exercise, etc.) to keep my head above water. Through my own experiences as well as my education in Psychology and Coaching, I learned that to feel seen, valued and supported (nurtured) are essential experiences that feeds a sense of belonging. However, “when belonging is very missing the essential experiences are missing and we will do almost anything to acquire them or numb ourselves from their power.” GSB Centre for coaching Therefore times when I couldn’t give that unconditionally to myself, I projected it onto others and/or pushed towards an idealised identity that once found (as the narrative was) would provide me with feeling worthy to belong.
Not knowing that the quest of belonging is within. Belonging ask us to loosen our hold and relax into our true nature. To be in relationship with our current reality as it is. A true sense of belonging is not something that can be lost as it is your birth right. I am already part of life by being born into it and in being here right now. And so are you. I belong. You belong. Together we belong.
The more we deepen and feel into that belonging that is shared with all of life, the closer we draw to each other. The more able we are to drop the justifications, defensiveness, self-images and boundaries that we think will keep us safe. But that in actual fact numbs us from the connection with self and sense of community with others we unconsciously yearn for. Together we then create a space with more communality, tolerance, acceptance, safety and love.
A lifeguard will usually advise you that when a current takes you – stay calm, float and relax into it. Allow the current to draw you in as the force naturally weakens which will then allow you to swim out of it or call for help (if you are not a good swimmer). However, usually you don’t have to do much as the current will generally float you back to the beach. That is if you can stay relax as you are getting pulled by the force. The skill is to remain calm when you become fearful as you feel the power of the current.
Like a current that pulls you first into the heart of the ocean. The force of life invites us every moment to draw closer to our essence. Beckoning us to feel our belonging, know it and trust it. Like Rumi said “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop”