Once we clearly see our particular pattern, it no longer has power over us. From here, we can learn to experience more belonging than ever before.
I haven’t felt at home since becoming a refugee at the age of nine. I searched for years for a place I could call my own. Every time my family moved — which was every two to three years — I thought to myself, “maybe THIS place will be where I can finally settle”.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t so.
When I became old enough to travel on my own, every time I boarded a plane I anticipated finding a perfect city and country that would stir in me a sense of home. Although I thoroughly enjoyed traveling, I also felt disappointed, and the longing for ‘home’ still nagged at me.
My journey to find my home has been deeply healing, challenging, and at times exhilarating. Along the way, I met my soul friends, discovered my purpose, and found my teachers. In addition to that, the intimacy with myself and within my relationships is continuing to deepen with time.
Based on my own inner work, observations and courses I participated in, I discovered themes that blocked me and people I worked with from experiencing connection and belonging.
Here are some of them:
When we feel shame, we hide our authentic self from people. This setup creates two layers of identity within us. We often times communicate from the surface layer, losing connection to the deeper layer within us, which holds the key to genuine connection.
This feeling could become part of our identity as early as birth, if we felt rejected by our mom or dad. or it could creep in during teenage years when we are looking for our place of belonging.
The feeling of rejection also arises in people who moved around the world a lot or who grew up in different countries and they don’t feel attached to one particular culture.
Lack of Attunement
If, as you were growing up, nobody around you mirrored your feelings, needs, and desires back to you, then you might feel lost in the sea of your inner experiences. Lack of attunement can also lead to a sense of disconnectedness from yourself.
An ingrained sense of aloneness create a barrier between you and the world. A friend of mine described this state with this image: she is standing behind a glass wall and she is looking at all these people on the other side but she can’t join them.
As the English/Irish poet David Whyte eloquently wrote:
“loneliness can be a prison, a place from which we look out at a world we cannot inhabit…”
A contraction in the physical and emotional bodies can be described as experiencing fear. Many humans have a tendency to withdraw or pull away when we feel afraid. When you unconsciously engage in this habit, it might be difficult for people around you to find access to you.
Surprisingly, some of us might even be afraid of belonging. We might be so used to being different, to standing apart and feeling like we don’t belong, that to allow ourselves to experience belonging feels uncomfortable and awkward. We might even develop a strong resistance to closeness with another human being.
To feel like we have quite a lot in common with others might feel threatening to our already established identity, of being ‘not like everyone else’.
Even though numerous blocks to love and belonging exist, it doesn’t mean that they are insurmountable. Once we learn to see clearly what our particular pattern is, it no longer has power over us. From here we can learn to experience more belonging than ever before.
- Simply Psychology https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
- PBS https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhmasl.html
- Thomas Huble. https://www.thomashuebl.com/en/
Article was originally published in Living Now Magazine and at livingnow.com.au on January 14, 2017.