As humans, we all have a desire to belong and to be significant. I have written about this before, but it’s time for a refresher.
I’ve been feeling sorta left out or lonely or unsure if/where/how I “fit in” in recent months. Connecting has looked different during the pandemic, and I find myself exploring my sense of belonging quite often lately. Anyone else?!
As I navigate uncertainties and insecurities, some of the best medicine has been being with myself. But, like, really being with myself. (Not just binging bake off.)
Note: While this article is focused on the relationship with oneself, this work doesn’t happen in a vacuum; community care and participation in community are crucial. Please keep this in mind as you read and engage.
5 Ways to Practice Belonging to Yourself
I use the word practice because I believe that we are in relationship with ourselves, and ALL relationships require maintenance, care, and attention. We won’t arrive at the final destination of “success” or “perfection” in our relationship with ourselves.
Instead, belonging to ourselves is a practice, something we return to again and again.
- Create a home in your body. This includes doing things like: eating foods you love, resting when you’re tired, giving yourself massages, engaging in self-pleasure, doing movement that feels fun, getting dressed or accessorizing in ways that bring joy, going to the doctor when you are unwell, etc. What actions help you feel at home in your body?
- Trust your heart/gut/whatever part of you FEELS the truth. What do you notice when you honor the information your body is giving you? When I listen to the wisdom of my body, I feel a sense of power and truth. There’s a sense of being at home in my decision; there’s less anxiety and worry.
- Tend to “inside” practices. Inside practices are things that bring your attention inward, rather than outward towards other people or the happenings of the world. This might include spiritual practices, as well. My go-to morning practices are journaling, drawing an oracle card, and meditation/visualization. Showing up for therapy is another inside practice that supports me in being curious about my inner landscape. What kind of inside practices are you enjoying?
- Appreciate the ways you are unique/different/YOU. This could look like writing down something you like about yourself in a special journal each day. It could be dancing to your current theme song while getting dressed. When you feel left out or different, this could look like pausing to reflect on what you appreciate about yourself. How do you show appreciation for your unique, badass self?
- Nurture your creativity. Sometimes this means scrolling TikTok for inspiration, but it could also mean daydreaming, doodling, being in nature, coloring, and trying out new projects– just because. I invite you to honor your ideas and inspirations and notice how it feels. How are you playing with creativity?
Practicing with Compassion
Again, belonging to oneself is not a destination. As cheesy as it is, this is a journey, a practice. This journey requires self-compassion and understanding.
Some days we will be preoccupied with the external world, and we will forget to spend time with our thoughts. Other days we will use our tools and find that we are still feeling loney. And still other days, we will feel deeply connected to ourselves and bask in how awesome we are.
All of these experiences are welcome, normal, and human. AND we can give ourselves compassion as we navigate the ups and downs and twists and turns in our relationship with ourselves.
Finally, you can find more self-care ideas here, if you’re interested.