soft lamb

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 a 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.
– Brené Brown

In so many ways I have more access to connection than my parent’s generation ever had. However, what I’m finding is that access is different than an experience of authentic connection.

I hosted a birthday party for my husband the other night, and although there were a couple dozen friends in our living room laughing and playing games, after everyone left I noticed that I felt lonely.

My SFD after feeling lonely like this is that I must not be interesting enough, or the feeling would go away if my friends had asked me more questions or  _______ (fill in the blank).

I’ve rumbled with this version enough times to know how it ends… The rewritten story I reminded myself of that night was: I belong to myself… whether I’m in a crowd of strangers, my family of origin or close friends. Independent of the environment, I can find a home in my own presence, and be me from that place.

Belonging to myself at my husband’s party could look like a lot of things, but here are a few that come to mind: breathing deep in the moment, pausing to listen to a friend’s story about her mom’s big move, sharing with someone that I’ve really enjoyed mom-ing lately (sharing joy can feel so much more vulnerable than sharing traumatic events), or asking for help hosting while I put the kids down mid-party.

There’s more, but that’s a good start to what it would have meant to believe in and belong to myself so deeply that I could share me with a crowd of familiar faces that night.

  • Where, or with whom, were you your most authentic self recently? What did it feel like?
  • What practices do you have in place that encourage believing in and belonging to yourself?

Write yourself a post-it note “permission slip” to believe in and belong to yourself today.


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