It has been quite some time since I joined in on a “Five Minute Friday.” This week, Crystal Stine is hosting in Lisa-Jo Baker’s online absence. The idea is to set a timer for five minutes and write. This week’s prompt is “Belong.”
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.
I read a beautiful excerpt on the difference between “Fitting in and Belonging” by Joel Readance who was referring to Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene provides two lists of attributes (or patterns) shared by the thousands of people she collected stories from as part of her research. The first list, she labeled “Do”, and it characterized people who enjoyed a strong sense of love, community and connection. These people were able to embrace their imperfections and vulnerabilities and share them with others. Their shared attributes included worthiness, faith, hope, authenticity, love, belonging, joy, gratitude and creativity. Good stuff, right? When I think of the “Do” category, I envision people who are loving and accepting of themselves and others, grateful for what they have, plugged into their purpose and not afraid to make mistakes.
The second list, she labeled “Don’t”, and it characterized people who denied their imperfections and vulnerabilities and tried to hide them from others for fear of judgment and rejection. Their shared attributes included perfection, exhaustion, self-sufficiency, being cool, fitting in, judgment and scarcity. When I think of the “Don’t” category, I envision people who put up airs to seek approval and acceptance, operate with a lack mentality and judge both themselves and others.
I think that my blog has given me the courage to be a part of her “do” category. I have learned to embrace my imperfections and vulnerabilities and share them with others- from people I know intimately to complete strangers. I feel that I try to emulate so many of those attributes. The definition of lonely is “sad because one has no friends or company” Synonyms are, isolated, alone, friendless, lonesome. Loneliness is the complete opposite of what I like or want in my life. Having a lot of friends doesn’t always give a sense of belonging, but having strong friendships with people accepting of me and of themselves is what makes me feel like we actually belong together.