Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Belonging

Most days in this world and in most places I have felt a lack of belonging. Growing up I didn't associate myself with any crowd in particular. I never belonged to a church congregation. I never belonged with the popular girls at school. When I moved to a rural town in my early teens I most certainly did not belong there.

Wherever I went I felt alone.

Even today as a mother I feel like the one who is always waiting in the shadows. I am the quiet observant one. I am the woman who will sit on the edge with a stiffness to her posture and a serious look on her face. I am the mom who sometimes finds it too hard to get out of the car and converse with others mothers at the bus stop. I am that woman.

But why......?

The answer came to me last week from the mouth of a wise woman (an honest to goodness wise woman). She told me: "You don't feel like you belong therefor you don't." How true these words rang. It has started to occur to me in the recent past that I alienate myself. I create stories in my head about how I don't belong, that I don't fit in. I think the roots to all of this are even more intricately multifaceted then those words alone.

The truth is I deeply desire to connect with like-minded individuals. I want to belong and to have a tribe. Just. Like. Everyone. Else.

The truth is I haven't always been surrounding myself with like-minded individuals in the past, instead I smothered my own voice and drowned out the whispers of my authenticity.

The truth is that I am only starting to become intimate with the deeper truths of myself. How could I possibly interpret where I fit in and where I do not if I could not see where I stood by myself?

The truth is that usually no one is intentionally leaving me out. I am the one choosing not to participate.

The truth is sometimes I won't always fit in and that is OK

The truth is I believe that the labels we perceive others have and those we assign ourselves keep us from experiencing true connection.

The truth is there is room for me if I let there be.


  1. No truer words were spoken than the last two statements you made. While as a society we do tend to ostracize certain people there is still always room for everyone and you can find people who fee the same and you become a unit, a circle, a tribe.

    My favorite quote from Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" and those are definitely words to try to live by :)

  2. i love you and can't wait to see you again very soon. i often feel as though i don't belong and think i will come back to these words when that feeling of alienation haunts me .. thank you for the gift of you xo

  3. i have always felt as if on the outside of a circle that i was always trying to squeeze into (reluctantly). my heart - deep down inside - always knew better but i guess my head did not. thank you for these words. in love with your SP!... truly! xo

  4. thank you for this post celina. i completely identify for the sentiments of feeling like i don't fit in. i am so glad that we have met and that we are part of our little stillness retreat group. i hold close those ties and though i don't talk to each of you as often as i would like i know that i belong in your company and you certainly belong in mine! xoxo

  5. Oh Celina I have typed a book twice to you and it's getting deleted everytime I hit post comment. But just know that I feel very much like you...I think I can't find my true identity anymore, being moved around and meeting such vastly different people, makes it hard to form those "lifelong bonds" I wish for. I feel like I miss home, but then I remember that things have changed there too and I don't really "fit" there either! This stage in life where you are a wife and a Mom make it very difficult to put yourself and needs above anyone else's. No time to go get/find a hobby(well you are doing fabulously with that, I not so much) No time to even do anything other than get an occassional pedicure or highlight. I've realized that I need to start putting myself first occassionally, but the guilt is something I cannot get used to. Rob is awesome, so encouraging, but I feel like it's ME holding myself back from doing what I want(not that I know what it is) Anywho this is all a jumble sorry, but just know I feel as you do, I just wish I had a "place" and all this moving is not helping either of us I suspect! Also know that I was crushed when you told me you were moving back, I felt like we were really becoming great friends! I miss you tons for what it's worth and while I know it's best for you guys to be near family, I secretly wish Ken would get transferred back hehe! Can't wait to see you soon girly xoxo!

  6. Wow, Celina - I could have written these words (though less eloquently). I relate intensely to everything you write here. The gentleness and forgiveness you demonstrate towards yourself here is something I SO aspire to ... it's just all okay just the way it is. Reading these words (in your gorgeous new space), I can believe it. And what a gift that is. Thank you. xox

  7. This is gorgeous and honest. I can relate so intensely. But what I've found is that sometimes those connections, that tribe, can be found in this online world and when it happens it's like a flower opens and blooms.

  8. I resonate so deeply with this. I'm so honored to witness your unfolding...I love you to bits...and that photo of you is stunning xox

  9. Wow, I so relate to this post... I've been struggle with this more so lately, maybe I just need to take a real deep look inside!

  10. Your words have touched me... deeply. Growing up I wasn't with the "in" crowd, I was not a joiner and felt I was looking in from the outside. That was at least my perspective. That was then.

    You and we belong. We all have each other in this beautiful world. As we share our stories, we are all reaching for connection and belonging. Thank you for your heartfelt words.

  11. Beautifully said. I often place myself at the outside as well. I do not always have the "energy" to put myself out there. To build relationships to the point that I can reveal my inner voice, dreams, and experiences. I admit that I fear that people will not understand me. I am complex, I choose to be complex and I need friendships that support that. And as much as I resist the committment that is necessary to start and build those relationships, I too long for a tribe. I really do.

  12. Isn't it strange and wonderful that when we put these kinds of feelings out in the world, so many others respond in kind? I think sometimes we're all so busy trying to "fit in" that we forget to be the unique and amazing beings we are. It reminds me of a suggestion I read once... in a gathering of people, instead of asking "what do you DO," ask "what do you LOVE" - then watch the real person emerge.


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