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?
Need help? 613-761-1600
Being in the profession that I am in and doing the work that I do has allowed me to see first hand what an excess of perceived stress does to your body and your life. Knowing this, I put into my life, many ways to combat and release my stresses. My best practices being: spending quality time with my family and friends, exercise, journaling, meditation, reading, sleep, good nutrition, massage and regular chiropractic care.
With all these safeguards in place, it’s not often that I feel my stress is unmanageable or “getting to me”. In fact, it’s been years…..until recently. Don’t get me wrong, stress still comes about and short term stressful events will always occur, it’s all a part of life, but how it affects your body can be mitigated.
Recently, I started to notice that little things were effecting me. I was quicker to anger with my family and friends, people were started to annoy me easier at work, I was less patient, and I was having less fun in life. Even playing with my child seemed like it would require too much energy….a huge sign that I was not myself. I had to take time to pause and see how I got to where I was.
It hit me that my safeguards had slowly been falling away and I didn’t notice because the process was gradual. My exercise and sleep have been severely lacking since giving birth. My meditation has gone out the window. This was a practice that I had been doing at least 3 times a week for the past 5 years. All these I had expected to change due to a new shift in priorities i.e. baby. What I didn’t take into account was how I was going to feel having lost some of these.
Now that my son is a little older, sleeping a bit better, etc. It’s time that I start to get back on track and reconnecting with me. I am grateful for the contrast in how I was to how I am now. When things are gradual, it’s harder to notice the day to day changes. It takes a larger gap before we realise the contrast. I also recognise that the frequency that I used to do things may no longer be the same however, the elements still need to be there.
I am grateful for the awareness and the opportunity to change my habits and all the support that I have to do so.
Need help changing? 613-761-1600
Research has shown over and over again that what we seek most is a sense of belonging and connection to others. People live longer when they have a sense of community and that they contribute and matter in some way.
So, why is it that we’re feeling so disconnected, alone and depressed when what we really want is to belong? Fear.
Fear is what cuts off connection to others. We fear what we do not understand. We fear people we don’t understand. We first look for the differences in others before we look at what we have in common.
What are we so afraid of? Researcher Brene Brown says that we fear: being vulnerable, getting hurt, pain of disconnection, criticism and failure, conflict, not measuring up. So, with all this fear, we move away from the very people that we want to connect with and wonder why we are lonely.
What’s the solution?
One often meets his destiny on the road that he took to avoid it.
All the things we fear must be faced. We need to be vulnerable, even if it hurts, especially when it hurts.
Embrace criticism so that we can improve and do better. Teach others how to give criticism so that it’s positively accepted.
Celebrate failure because it means that we had the courage to try.
Go into conflict with a goal of listening and finding a resolution.
Above all, we need to see the communality in all of us and believe in love which is the power that unifies us all.
Want to be part of the solution? Give us a call. 613-761-1600
Are you lacking in courage? Wondering how others seem to have so much of it and how you don’t seem to have any? Stop beating yourself up for not having it and borrow it from someone else.
If you can’t find the courage to do something, look at someone else. Find someone who’s doing what you are afraid to do. Read their story, look at the challenges that they have overcome and that they currently face. Perhaps they have even had some of the same experiences as you have. Borrow their courage!
Sometimes, when we see courage displayed by someone, it inspires it within us. In wake of the #metoo movement, we’re seeing courageous people tell their stories and struggles. This in turn has inspired even more people to tell their stories and we can see how many people have had similar experiences. The first few people who started the movement were courageous and inspired others to be as well. We just want to know that what we want to do is possible.
So, when you’re faced with a lack of confidence, courage, love, strength, etc. borrow it from other people until you have enough on your own. Don’t worry, in doing so and telling your story, you will be a source of inspiration for others. Why? Because courage is contagious and everytime that you choose it, you make others around you a little better and in turn, the world becomes a little braver.
Wnat to meet some courageous people? Come to our monthly workshop. RSVP 613-761-1600
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization Chiropractic in Ottawa, Canada.