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  1. d

    I have heard it said, to share with a friend, is to share twice the beauty.

    3 years ago
  2. Mary Pat

    Being in contact, wether on Zoom or in person, with others. I find that I need the Spirit in others to connect with my Spirit, and that is what deepens belonging for me. My community, my Sisterhood group, my book clubs, my friends, my children and grandchildren.

    3 years ago
  3. O.Christina

    To be there for the ohter, with all my heart and all my ability.

    3 years ago
  4. Don Jones

    Jesus called it, “The Kingdom of God”, the Buddhists called it Enlightenment, the Hindu’s call it Mukti, others call it transcendence. Call it what you will, that is where belonging is.

    3 years ago
  5. Sug

    Authentic sharing. When I can overcome my doubts and cynicism and commit to a giving spirit, that spirit connects me to others; the old Nike slogan “Just do it” comes to mind.

    3 years ago
  6. Linda

    My deep and long term friendships are a treasure to me, and reinforce my sense of belonging to my family, my community and the world.

    3 years ago
  7. J

    I feel like I belong when I am around people who are happy, accepting, and kind. I often feel like a square peg in a round hole and want to leave social situations due to anxiety. I’m trying to work on myself to do a better job of being accepting of myself to to address my anxiety.

    3 years ago
    1. Holly in Ohio

      You will get there, Jennifer! 🙂

      3 years ago
  8. Carol

    Self awareness has deepened my sense of belonging. I share a meditation I wrote in 2009 that helped me move from longing to belonging. I hope during this holiday season it is helpful to those struggling with their emotions. The holidays can make it seem hard to get from longing to belonging for many.of us.

    From Longing to Belonging

    Question: What is life?
    Answer: Life is “What Is.”
    Question: What aren’t we here for?
    Answer: We aren’t here for “What Ifs”
    Question: What is that suppose to mean?
    Answer: You tell me. It’s your life.
    Question: Well, then what should I do?
    Answer: Forsake the “shackles of should.”
    Question: How?
    Answer: By Being instead of longing.

    We all live as the Israelites lived, between promise and fulfillment. We all live in process, in relationship with each other and all of creation. We all feel hunger for a sign, for a feeling, for an explanation of what we are here for. The best scientific answer I have found for that is that we are hear to evolve but we have chosen to make life a burden by believing we are separate from or superior to the rest of creation—not related to it at all. We fight life. We flee from life or we freeze—become ambivalent. How sad for our time here is limited.

    I read an entry in one of my earlier journals this morning. I had written: “I bought the flowers at Wal Mart—daisies, carnations, tiger lilies and fern. They smiled at me each day when I returned home from work tired. Then one by one they bowed their heads and died. Nothing can live indefinitely without roots.

    ”Roots are different from vines that cling. I don’t like to admit that I was a clinger but since most of the major decisions I made early in life were motivated by fear, I must own the fact that I am prone to growing vines not roots. After my divorce, I was faced with the loss of my concept of WE. I had married two weeks before my 19th birthday. I went directly from Mama’s house to hubby’s house and now, 35 years later, I was no longer a WE. My identity was gone. I felt like I was being pulled up by the roots and discarded but in reality, it wasn’t my roots that were being destroyed. That experience has taught me that they cannot be destroyed. They are part of my birthright. No, it was my longing, my clinging vines. It was a wake-up call.

    I had a dear friend at the time who was very helpful but each hurdle I faced, she would say, “We’ve had to deal with that before,” and she would make light of my overwhelms. I knew she meant well but internally I was screaming, “There is no WE in my life.” In retrospect her words were helpful. They made me look at my limited definition of WE.They gave me the courage to reach out for the help I needed. They helped me realize how much of myself I had given away to stay in that marriage.

    It has taken many years for me to look at life as a gift not a burden. I have personally had to pull up and discard a lot of my clinging vines but each time I find the courage to do that I discover I have deeper roots and I picture them interconnected with all of creation, to the one big universal root.
    I Am not an event.
    I Am life expressing itself in and through Carol.
    I Am not a product.
    I Am a participant in this adventure called creation.
    I BE-long. WE all belong. Our roots are our birthright.

    Blessings, Carol

    3 years ago
    1. Michele

      I can relate to the whole ‘WE’ thing. I miss that part very much.

      3 years ago
    2. Butterfly

      Thank you, Carol, I can relate to your post and your experiences. How wonderful it is when we can allow our vines to let go of clinging and instead feel our roots firm in Beingness 😊

      3 years ago
    3. Mica

      Thank you, Carol, for your wonderful post. I like ”shackles of should’ – and of course ‘roots’ and ‘vines’! I was shoulding on myself about doing This and That, and I realized the true situation was: “I will do This and That” – the time frame was just a bit longer than my ‘Should’ version.

      3 years ago
    4. L

      Such a great metaphor here —- roots vs vines…. Thanks for sharing 💜

      3 years ago
  9. Maurice Frank

    Feeling like I have common interests with other people, and helping to bring people together

    3 years ago
  10. Marnie Jackson

    Being honest about what is going on – at the same time as being heard for what I am saying.
    Feeling comfortable to be me and not judging myself for all of the things I did “wrong” in the conversation.
    Laughing with another about our struggles…. seeing the humour in life’s challenges.

    3 years ago
    1. Holly in Ohio

      You touched on something very important, Marnie, that I had forgotten. I know my son told me he felt like he didn’t belong when he was not showing his true self to others, but that when he was himself around others, then he could feel he belonged. It is so important to feel you are heard and understood! I’m so glad you reminded me of this. I hope you have that deep connection, Marnie, and thank you!!!! ❤

      3 years ago
  11. DeVonna

    Religious services. I know a lot of people hate church and that makes me sad because the traditional rituals of faith bless and encourage me deeply. Prayer, observations of the seasons of the church (Lent, Advent, Epiphany etc) hymns, they are all very dear to my heart and faith.

    3 years ago
  12. Howie Geib

    Service. It is through service that I manifest value. To others perhaps, but also to myself. At the end of the day I can look back and see how at least some actions, no matter how seemingly trivial, furthered someone else along their way. It is a happy thing when it is noticed, and yet that is so not the point of the exercise. (Here he goes again with a rowing metaphor…ugh) In an eight none of the rowers can truly shine, the point is to blend and morph into a single organism pulling the boat in sequence. Choirs seem to work the same way.

    “Labour is blossoming or dancing where
    The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
    Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
    Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
    O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
    Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
    O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
    How can we know the dancer from the dance?”
    –William Butler Yeats

    3 years ago
  13. EJP

    A simple smile from a stranger.

    3 years ago
  14. Holly in Ohio

    Do I belong?
    From outside myself I see that I do. I have a family – we belong to each other. I have a neighborhood and our neighbors know and help each other and I am a part of this. I have a community, several… one is here.
    But do I have a sense of belonging? My sense is a weak. My brother and sister and I were raised to be very independent, and it is something for which I am grateful, for my opinions are independent of the crowd, I can choose more freely what to do, but I must admit it may have impaired my sense of belonging.
    This doesn’t answer the question, but it does for me reveal the answer, which is I find service to be the thing that perhaps most deepens my sense of belonging.

    I think this is an interesting question, and one worth thinking more about today. I can see that because I don’t always have a sense of belonging that I also find it difficult to ask for help when I need it. I also see I have a disconnect between seeing that I have a role to play in communities and yet not feeling I’m in any way an essential part. I can feel love flowing out of me to my communities, but doubtful I am essential.

    3 years ago
    1. Carol

      Holly, your very Being glorifies the Lord of Life. I discovered years ago that the origins of the word “Lord” mean the” Bread Giver.” You are a giver. We all long for validation but must remember that Creation is One and belonging is our birthright. It’s Christmas time and each year I pray for the day our species will not choose to put a cross in the crib. That even when life leaves us feeling isolated, we all belong.

      3 years ago
      1. Holly in Ohio

        I read that four times just now, Carol. You are, of course, right!
        Hugs to you, dear one!

        3 years ago
    2. Patricia

      Thank you for this, Holly. Sometimes I feel that the “doubt” we have about being essential is also a necessary component (or a balance somehow) so that I remember my appropriate place in things. I am mortal; I am a creature; I will die. And yet, mystery of mysteries, God has created me and loves me and invites me into contributing of this ‘self’ (this ‘essence’?) to God’s purposes. When I’m aligned with divine purpose and the essence of the divine, oh then I am indeed “essential”…. What a calling for a mere mortal, eh?

      3 years ago
      1. Carol

        Your words are inspiring and will be very helpful to us all.

        3 years ago
      2. Holly in Ohio

        🙂 This is very helpful, Patricia. Thank you so much for sharing this as it deepens my understanding.

        3 years ago
    3. Howie Geib

      Yes indeed dear Holly…I stumbled into discovering service seems the surest root of any genuine action I can take to deepen belonging.

      3 years ago
      1. Holly in Ohio

        Your belonging runs very deep in this community, Howie. ❤

        3 years ago
  15. Kevin

    Fascinating question today!

    What deepens my sense of belonging is when, for whatever reason, I have to be away from certain activities, settings, and people whom I love, have friendship or kinship with. The old proverb, “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” certainly applies here, too. Even when I’m away by choice, or due to a conflict of other needs and chosen pursuits, the bonds of belonging slowly release an inner, gentle longing, which quickens my step and increases my appreciation for the world that I have upon my return.

    3 years ago
  16. Michele

    Feeling like you belong in a community such as this one.

    3 years ago
    1. Kevin

      Indeed, Michele, indeed! Happy holidays to you my friend.

      3 years ago
      1. Michele

        Thank you Kevin, and Happy Holidays to you as well:)

        3 years ago
  17. sunnypatti48317

    Conscious conversation with others. Really being present with another. Sitting in the surf lineup with other surfers, chatting between waves, laughing with each other.

    Then there are the times when I’m working an event with my husband, and some of the customers come up and say things like, “we’re so glad y’all are here! we love your food!” That ‘belonging’ in the community is important to me, and the fact that it supports my husband’s work is golden.

    3 years ago

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