Belonging is the innate human desire to he part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.*
What a powerful statement.
I caught myself watching Eden today. She is sweet, and silly. But she can often be difficult, and highly strung. In my mind I realized I was ready to tell her to tone it down a little. A life lesson I though might help her build friendships. To do what she can to fit in.
How completely wrong this train of thought was. I caught it mid air, as I sucked in my breath sharp and wondered if this is a thought pattern I've held onto subconsciously all my life. If not my adult years, then definitely though high school. Without a doubt as a child.
Hoping for that sense of belonging, and trying to be everything to everyone.
Without realising that the most attractive souls are the ones who are just that. Themselves.
*Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection