I work hard not to project the insecurities of my own 14 year-old self onto my 8th grader.....those insecurities were deep and wide.
I didn't belong.
Of course, those were just painful thoughts that I built evidence for everyday and I suffered for it. When you are a people pleaser and you get your self worth from other people's feedback (and people aren't pleased) there is a deep hole of emptiness and a void of worth.
At least that was true for me as an adolescent.
I'd love to tell you a story that my journey from middle school created a path of resilience and grit, but in reality the same challenges I had in middle school, I have faced in my adult life in a small community, in my business and in family and friendships.
I have often felt my ideas, goals, dreams, and "way of being" doesn't fit in and it can feel lonely standing in it.
Can you relate?
In Brene Brown's book, Braving the Wilderness, she shares this definition of True Belonging:
True belonging is 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 part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn't require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.
So, I guess the better question to ask is:
Who are you?
When you can answer that question....then I guess you belong wherever you are.
As leaders in life, family, work and community - we have an opportunity to create a culture of belonging and inclusivity of diverse perspectives when we foster an environment of self knowing, awareness and respect- starting from within and encouraging others to do the same.
I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to get clear and hone in on my own values, perspective, boundaries and voice - so that I can bring that clarity and integrity with me wherever I go.
It would be so much easier to avoid this deep work and revert to judging others for their views and values that are different than mine.
BUT I would rather truly belong.
How about you?
Where do YOU Belong?
Happy Friday :)