How do you find true belonging? According to Brene Brown, true belonging is the flip side of saying “No.”
What happens when we say NO?
We draw a line in the sand.
We are no longer playing “nice.”
We are no longer trying to fit in so people will accept us.
And we risk being rejected.
In the age of increased polarization, a desire to belong is almost irresistible.
We all want to find true belonging.
But, according to BreneBrown, true belonging,
… starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
So, we have drawn the line. We have chosen to belong to no one.
No one except me.
We said “NO” loud and clear.
And now we are alone.
Alone in the wilderness.
Can we brave it?
Is it worth it?
Do I have what it takes to stand alone?
What does it mean to belong to myself?
According to Brene Brown, the author of Braving the Wilderness, the number-one New York Times best-seller, to belong to myself means to be able to stand alone if necessary.
If we choose to belong to ourselves – first and foremost – we will discover our true belonging.
True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are. Brene Brown
We can only brave this wilderness if we find what it means to belong to ourselves.
How much are we willing to sacrifice to be accepted by others?
Every time we say “yes” when our heart says “no,” we lose part of ourselves.
The more I say “yes” when I want to say “no,” the less of me remains.
I thin out and become a no-man.
And what is the price of losing yourself?
The price of losing myself is losing my identity, worth, and sense of personal power.
The price of fitting in is a never-ending inner conflict.
When we desperately seek belonging, we experience an inner split and inner stress leading to sickness – if it goes on for too long.
Saying NO is taking your power back.
Saying NO is taking your wholeness back.
“NO” is one of the most empowering words because it helps us define who we are.
Who we are is non-negotiable. Take it or leave it.
Saying “NO” means I have worth. And I am not discussing it with anyone.
I may not belong to you, but I belong to myself.
And when I belong to myself, I experience the wholeness I never knew.
The inner conflict is gone the moment I dare to say “no.”
I am prepared to go alone. I am prepared to stay in the wilderness.
I may feel scared, but I am not divided anymore.
Brene Brown writes,
True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary.
The path of true belonging cuts right through the wilderness.
What does the wilderness mean spiritually and how does it help us find true belonging?
In spiritual terms, the wilderness is a sacred place.
Because only in the wilderness do we meet our true selves and experience wholeness we never knew before.
By becoming whole, we find true belonging and end the tug-of-war between what we really want and what we agree to put up with. And we heal our souls.
We no longer rely on others to tell us who we are. We don’t give away our power. The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand. Brene Brown