What does it mean to belong? Dr. Brene Brown defines true belonging as “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.”
By that definition, few or us belong. What do we do instead? We try to fit in. We envy others, we want to be like them, want to own what they have, etc. But what happens when we try to fit in?
We forget to stand out. In fitting in, we give up our own individual uniqueness to try to be like someone else. We think that if we fit in, we’ll have more friends, be happier, have more things etc.
This need to fit in has been ingrained into our nervous system since the caveman days. We had tribes in order to hunt for food and for survival. If you were outcasted, you’d die.
While it may be true that we need community and a tribe, we don’t have to give up who we are for it. True belonging, doesn’t require you to change who you are. Those around you, will accept you for you. True belonging asks you to BE who you are and those that support you will show up.
Fitting in is safer. Being like someone else is easier. It does not require you to be vulnerable, to get out of your comfort zone or to find your voice. You don’t even have to do the inner work to find out who you are because you can be someone else. Belonging, that’s tough. It requires you sacrifice. You have to be willing to be unpopular, if it means standing up for yourself. It means having the hard conversations, being present all while trying to be with others.
Belonging is for the brave. For those who are willing to take the road less travelled. Are you ready for the journey?
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Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.