Tuesday, October 3, 2017

True Belonging

Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us.

 In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.

I started out belonging to my family. In truth, I was wanted and protected. As most teenagers I started to feel a disconnect between what was expected of me and what I wanted. So I learned to betray what I felt to conform to the situation at hand. Fitting in at home required one thing, fitting in at school another, and fitting in at church still required something else. 

"Belonging is not something you negotiate externally, it's what you carry in your heart."
Brené Brown

Maya Angelou left a very interesting quotation behind.

     You are only free when you realize you belong no place---
you belong every place-----------no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.

  I'm sure this will mean something different to everyone but to me it gives me the sense that I decide if I belong. And I belong to myself and the God who created me. If I betray myself by acting different to fit in to a situation or a group of people, then I carry the burden of being false. And it is a burden because it comes at the price of feeling alone. Is that a paradox? Being false to fit in, actually makes us feel lonely?

    We live in a world where society is loud and demanding. We divide into groups to give us definition. But, even when we claim affiliation to a creed or dogma we can feel so alone. I am rich. I am poor. I am conservative. I am liberal. I am male. I am female. I am gender free. I hate guns. I own guns. I am Christian. I am Jewish. I am Muslim. I am atheist. 

"Belonging is not something you negotiate externally, it's what you carry in your heart."
Brené Brown

More tomorrow on true belonging.

Click here to go back to my table of contents to see the other posts.


  1. These are thought-provoking reflections. I agree, it can be tempting to adapt ourselves to certain situations because we want to fit in, but then I think there is a sense of loneliness because we're not being ourselves and we wonder if people would accept us if they saw us as we are.

  2. I'm finding myself more comfortable in my own skin as I get older. It is human nature to want to belong, but I've found that I have made poor choices in the past due to my need to belong. At church this past Sunday the pastor spoke about finding out identity in Christ. This made me more comfortable in knowing I belong.

    1. I have that comfort, too. As long as He is connected to me I can cope.


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