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April 5, 2022

The Need to Belong

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.

Our nervous system has evolved to be on alert for danger, so the impulse for safety has been here from the beginning of time. The ways we seek safety today are indeed still connected to the original impulse, however, they materialize in a modern context. This means we are often looking for safety in regards to our sense of cultural and communal belonging.

Belonging enables one to relax into themselves long enough to feel their inherent creativity. The expression of creativity represents our drive towards potential, or to become. These two characteristics, belonging and becoming, intersect to create an integrated human being, living passionately from the heart.

Take a moment and think about where you find belonging in your life. How does that feel? What is the texture of the feeling of belonging?

We can start with the fact that, when you belong, you know your place. Your whole being is vibrating “I know my lane.” When you know your lane, you’re resting in who you are. When you find this self-reliance, you are able to relax into life as an embodied presence.

The embodiment of the moment brings an acceptance of what’s here. Therefore, you are not looking for ways to solve the challenges of your life, but you see them as a part of your life’s mission. A part of your unique process. In understanding the process of what makes our life “challenging,” we find what was once hidden, so our path becomes more clear.

Therefore, the spaces where we feel less safe and belonging in, highlight the path. Understanding the process of why we feel this way in those spaces will lead us to our becoming, which is the expression of life through us.

Language Puts Energy Into Form

Our language often conceals the subtle layers of consciousness. In other words, language opens the door to the unconscious. If you tracked how many times you used the words “should” and “still” in your life you would likely be surprised. Especially in self-talk. For example, “I should be doing this instead of that” or “I can’t believe I’m still doing that.”

Catch yourself in this language and you’ll notice it’s a subtle way of getting around feeling what’s in the moment. You create a split in yourself, between a behavior you wish to embody and the actual action you’re currently taking, deeming the latter unacceptable. However, in this act you dissociate from the present moment to a future desired state.

This is a function of the shadow. The fundamental mechanism of any shadow is to conceal light or, in other words, clarity. So, to want to be done with some pattern or quality you dislike about yourself is to be unclear why you carry the quality in the first place. If you understood it, you would have the ability to choose differently. But, you don’t understand the concealed shadow, so what you choose is something that you chose in your past, over and over again.

If you are in a hurry to heal something, you’re missing the point. In order to bring light to the shadow, you need to understand the process that created the concealment in the first place. Through that, you get to embody the teachings of your specific karma. This is important because when the past is integrated, innovation can come. You can truly move forward as a creative agent in the world. To come full circle, it’s not about changing the way in which you speak, but it’s about reverse-engineering the process to see what’s being hidden through your language.

Life wants to transform, heal, and grow. It wants to become. At the same time, we have learned damn well how to make something that was meant to be effortless, full of effort. Essentially, life is happening and we continually attempt to get in front of it, around it, and above it.

I believe this is what all religions refer to as a sin. To not live in the flow of life is a sin because it takes you away from the joy that can be experienced now. It takes you away from why your specific structure of consciousness is here.

Heaven is not a Future

Even in the deepest, darkest shadows of our human experience, we can witness things transform the closer we come to them (i.e. understand them). A grace unknown, nevertheless here. This is the miracle of life.

As implied earlier, belonging creates the space for you to become who you are meant to be. To become without the safety of belonging isn’t stable. It doesn’t last the peaks and troughs of time. Maybe you’ve experienced this when you felt like you’ve grown and suddenly you’re back in the state you thought you outgrew. This is one of those “I’m still doing that” moments and it is not a regression. It’s a signal to show you where you have gotten ahead of yourself and how you can come back into contact with presence.

If you’re looking for your path out of the darkness it’s often remaining open to the process of how the shadow was cast in the first place. This openness is humility and only through humility can we receive the grace of life.

Your life isn’t a puzzle to solve. It’s something to participate in and bring all of yourself to. When you do that, when you find belonging, your becoming emerges as a future that’s not far off, but right here.

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