Human Belonging Is Found Through Mutual Dependency.
People come to my office with symptoms of depression, anxiety, loneliness and relationship problems. Getting to know them I discover that in almost all cases they feel some level of disconnection from other people.
They don’t feel like they belong.
As I work to help them, creating community is a large part of their “cure.” Jean Vanier in his book Becoming Human says: We do not discover who we are, we do not reach true humanness. in a solitary state; we discover it through mutual dependency, in weakness, in learning through belonging.
Last week I went to a training at the Buddhist school I am affiliated with in California. While there I was asked what my participation in the school has meant to me. My response was that I cherish the sense of belonging to this group, of feeling like I am part of something and that the other members are a support to me. I realized that this belongingness manifests in the world as my teachers, my fellow classmates and the support I get from these relationships.
I cherish this sense of refuge, a place in my mind where I can go when feeling lonely or distracted, to recharge my batteries, basking in the warmth of the group.
Belonging is an important part of our journey towards wholeness and true happiness in life. We are all tribal people. We each need a tribe to belong to, to support and to be supported by. In our modern fast-paced world where individualism is valued more then belonging and cooperation, becoming disconnected and isolated is becoming more common. Human beings thrive in cooperative groups. For the health of ourselves and our society we all need to find a way to feel like we belong.
Feeling left out of life or that you can’t relate to others? Would you like to change that?
If so, here’s what to do next:
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