Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
While creating a song list for a certain upcoming celebration, I remembered Pat Benatar's "We Belong." Now the song lyrics do not depict a particularly reciprocal or mutually beneficial relationship. But the song's title. Now that is something I can get behind.
This blog post will be short, as today is the actual day of my wedding. I write this morning both because I cannot sleep and because being surrounded by dear friends and family from near and far gives Brown's words more weight than ever. Despite my roller coaster emotions during the last few days, I feel so much gratitude for this life I have. I also understand more deeply the importance of daring greatly during the time we have on this earth. As Brown wrote,
Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It's about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It's even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there's a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I'm standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.
May I have the courage today to show up and let myself be seen, imperfections and all, so that I can experience not only the love all around me but also the sense of true belonging of which Brown speaks.
Since people keep telling me I can do as I wish on this day, I might as well close with some Rumi!
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.