Fitting in or Belonging?

March 17th, 2014

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown begins with this:

” Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.  It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Worthiness.  What does that feel like when it isn’t based on achievement? or others’ opinions?    When was the last time you felt – no –  KNEW  you were worthy of love and belonging?

So often we forgo worthiness for temporary comfort of not being known. We scan the environment and attempt to present ourselves as something close to what we think others want us to be so we can ‘fit in’.  No surprise there seems to be so little commitment to each other. Real compassion is replaced by such non caring statements as “It is what it is” and daft  ”I hope everything is okay” . Which of course is code for  ’don’t be real’.  This is what belonging is NOT.

Belonging is the ability to rest in knowing you know me and I know you. We share real hopes and successes and our vulnerabilities in disappointments and loss. It is knowing  individual worthiness isn’t dependent on any situation or measure. We are honest about sharing the condition known as human and have discarded the delusion of perfection.

To parents of children from hard places – trauma, neglect, abandonment – belonging is what each of your children seek…now. In the tantrums, fear, discouragements, and developmental delays, they need to belong now. Not when they have met the next milestone or  act more like the other children. Build and believe in their innate worth and bring them in to belonging rather than hoping they can fit in. They may be teaching you something about yourself.

To each of us from our individual hard places, lay aside the work to fit in to someone else’s mold of expectation. Begin believing and living in ‘worthy to be loved and to belong’.  Begin looking and finding those honest enough to come alongside to share the journey – imperfect as they are and accepting the imperfection in us.


Leave a Reply