Why would we sit together in a circle at a picnic or gathering when we could otherwise sit away from each other? Why is it that we feel drawn to engaging the only other person in a room we’re in? It’s because we have the innate desire to connect, evidenced if nothing else by our yearning that nobody should be ignored by us; that we might appear rude.
Whether we acknowledge it or not we all desire a sense of connection, so we feel we belong in this world. Belong or cease to exist. We have our being in being in community. There are some who will disagree. But let’s explore the concept that we belong when we feel we belong.
Belonging Is Intrinsic To Who We Are
There is something irrefutable about how we’ve engaged with our world, since day one, which demands a hearing in any court of truth.
Against our own ‘better’ judgment we have been thrust into our world.
We were parented in ways to protect us (assuming that a caring childhood was ours) but these ways were opposed, oftentimes, to our inner child’s judgment. Parents generally know what’s best for their children, yet the child may despise the parent in the discharge of their parenting.
Furthermore, no matter how well or poorly our parents parented us, there are few situations where we do not love them.
This simply illustrates that, despite our judgment and indifference to our sense of belonging, we could not help but need to belong. And it is those who have no sense of belonging who roam spiritually throughout the world, searching for any semblance of love and belonging—often to find their attention and love needs met in the worst places. Yet, negative attention is better than no attention at all, or so it seems.
Where and Why Belonging Meets with Hope
It may not be possible to enjoy a realistic and sustainable hope without also enjoying a sense of belonging in a place where we feel loved.
Without a sense of belonging, there is a lack of future security—a lack of hope.
What drives downstream from a lack of hope is fear. Where we are fearful we have no faculties for belonging, because we are looking to evidence more of where we don’t belong than of evidence that we do. Fear and belonging are hence incompatible, as fear and hope are as well.
There is one ingredient we need in life: hope.
When we have hope life looks and feels good. And hope is generated never more than by a sense of belonging. In enjoying hope—a sense of a secure future—we know we belong.
And it needs to be said, also, that belonging provides a sense of affirmation of identity and, therefore, ‘fit’ in this world. This is nothing to underestimate, for what better could we want than to fit within the here-and-now, always?
A sense of belonging is crucial to having a hope-filled identity—that state of inner security we need for a good future. When we ‘fit’ in our world, and when everything is satisfactory in life, we find it’s because we really feel we belong.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.