Growing up I never quite fit in with the other kids my age. For intermittent periods of time I managed to mold myself to their standards but my need for approval meant sooner or later they withheld from me the very thing I desired and got to feel powerful because of it.
That’s what happens when we enter dysfunctional relationship dynamics unconsciously and it seems to be the way our drama filled culture is structured.
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory places belonging at the centre with survival and safety as basic needs before it and respect and self-actualization as higher level needs above it.
Tony Robbins created a similar theory with certainty, variety, connection/love, significance, growth and contribution as his equivalent, and in both Maslow and Robbins’ theories the sense of belonging that comes with feeling connected and significant make us feel capable of stretching ourselves to new levels, in order to experience ourselves from a new perspective.
Until I took my power back half way through grade 10 when I decided to switch schools and reinvent myself where I knew few other students or teachers, my lack of belonging felt like a curse I couldn’t escape from where I was.
What I didn’t realize was that I had the power to change my circumstances within me the whole time but that every experience of rejection was actually a huge gift.
What I have learned since my formative years when fitting in and being accepted was my greatest desire is that the Universe will sometimes deny us the very thing we want because getting it would prevent us from stepping into all that we came here to express and experience ourselves to be as creative beings. The Universe will send us people who reject us if their acceptance of us would prevent us from growing into all we can be.
The rejection I faced forced me to keep seeking acceptance from different places until I eventually learned that the only person who could truly accept me was me. Everyone else is just bonus.
This was the journey I had to take home to myself and is one I dare say each of us are on, as we separate from the tribal mind and all the B.S. (belief systems) that come with it in order to reconnect with the essence of our Soul that lives beneath all the veils of expectation and illusion that we bought into while growing up.
Over the next 21 business days I’ll be looking at Belonging: A 21-day Adventure Home To Myself from a variety of perspectives to understand how it has impacted and influenced me to think as I do, do what I do, and believe as I have come to believe. It has and continues to be a process of unraveling as I learn to discern what is mine, what I’m told is mine or should be mine, and what would serve me to make mine.
My desire for belonging is still there but my journey has taught me how to frame it through the lens of self-acceptance in a way I now help others do too.
I will be participating in this challenge with other members of a mastermind community I belong to because what I have learned is that not all groups carry equal value and so who we choose to find belonging with matters.
Looking forward to sharing this journey with you!
Laura JeH – Namaste
PS – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any questions you might have that you’d like me to explore over the next few weeks. Please hit reply and send me a message now or at any point during the 21-day series.