Coaches Corner: Belonging - Finding Value and Purpose
October 4, 2023
We have an innate desire to belong in families, at work, and in our communities. We want to belong in such a way that others would go out of their way to pursue us. But, of course, it looks different in marriage, friendships, and even relationships within our family.
Longing to be pursued is not a sign of self-admiration, as God placed that desire deep within our hearts because we were created in His image.
If you are feeling lonely, abandoned, or unwanted because of what the world says, it’s time to stop. You are valued, treasured, and loved.
Do you remember a time in your life when you felt accepted, loved, cherished and knew you were exactly where you were supposed to be at that moment? Think back to that time. How were you feeling? Why were you feeling that way? What created that particular feeling for you? Perhaps you were at your happy place, which makes you feel secure and comfortable.
Belonging and being loved is the most intense feeling one can experience. When you feel deeply loved, you can feel more secure and no longer want to run away from yourself. Why? Because you have learned to free yourself from self-judgements.
A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with some friends, and one topic we discussed was the sense of belonging. I began to ponder the thought that we all desire to belong, to feel valued and accepted in our families, at work, in our communities and neighborhoods.
We talked about how shame can cause us to shrink back and withdraw, keeping us from being our true, authentic selves. Shame has the power to cover up our hurts and stifle our emotions.
Nothing can quench the thirst that we want to be accepted. Not belonging or feeling rejected distracts us from the plan that God has already established. True freedom in this life gives us our purpose to fulfill what God has created us to do in this world.
During one of our sessions for my Master’s Certification, a volunteer shared a vulnerable moment when a limiting belief surfaced—she felt as though she didn’t belong. It could have been in her family or her inner circle of friends. This revelation struck a chord, resonating with memories from my journey.
How many of us feel this way? Growing up in a large family, I often thought I didn’t belong and repeatedly questioned God, feeling as if He made a mistake. He doesn’t make mistakes; you are exactly who and where you are supposed to be,…to fulfill His purpose and plan.
In writing my story and reflecting on my growth, I’ve come to understand a profound truth—I belong exactly where I was intended, right down to my placement in our large family of eight.”
As you’ve journeyed through this discovery of belonging, you may have brought to the surface profound insights into the essence of human connection and the divine pursuit of our hearts. Now, it’s time to take these new learnings and apply them to your own life.
Take a moment to reflect on your own experiences of belonging. Consider the times when you felt entirely accepted and loved, as well as when you may have questioned your place.
Challenge yourself to embrace your authentic self. Release the burden of self-judgment and recognize that you are worthy of love and belonging precisely as you are. Be kind and compassionate toward yourself.
Reach out to friends and family, and engage in open and honest conversations about belonging. You’ll likely discover that many people share similar feelings and desires as you.
Take time for prayer, meditate, journal your thoughts, dig deep, and allow God to reveal himself in a way that deepens your sense of connection to something greater than yourself.
Help others who may be grappling with feelings of not belonging. Offer your understanding, compassion, and support to help them on their journey toward acceptance.
The more you learn about yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate your path to belonging. Understanding your journey is the first step toward embracing your unique way of belonging.
Remember that the journey to belonging is ongoing and unique to each person. Embrace it as a process of growth and self-discovery. By taking these steps, you can enrich your life and create a more compassionate and connected world where everyone feels valued and loved.
“Belonging is the journey we take from feeling alone to being alive with others.”— Brené Brown
To connect with Ellie FB @coachelliewest Certified Master Practitioner in NLP, TLT, & Hypnosis