There is no house, like the house of belonging. ~David Whyte
A week or so ago, I spent a couple of days at Esalen. On the Monday morning I was visiting, there was a dance session offered and I jumped right in. As I danced in these new surroundings, with other dancers I had not danced with before, I felt completely at ease in my body, with my dance, and with the others in the room. The word belonging came to mind, and I began to feel a deep sense of belonging there in the moment to this new place. As I danced, I could feel the peace that comes in knowing one belongs: to the group, the community, the world; to the earth and the land; to this life, and to something greater than oneself.
Belonging gives us a sense of peace. It allows for an opening to life, a trust, a reassurance that we can let go of our armor and be real with ourselves and each other. When we realize we belong, a letting go naturally occurs.
When we are born, we naturally belong to earth and to life. Eventually, though, we learn to believe the story that we have to earn our belonging. And, depending on our race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors beyond our control, we learn what our earned belonging entitles us to, and the rights that go with it.
Dancing last week, I came to finally see through the illusion that we have to earn our belonging. As I looked out over the waves breaking against the rocks at Esalen, I realized the truth: we all belong to life, to this earth, to each other, to the world community. While nothing belongs to me, I belong to the world. I am a part of this big family called Life. Nothing belongs to me, yet I belong in the deepest, most freeing sense of the word.
When we realize we belong, and I mean realize deep down in the cells of our body that we BELONG, we finally we can take up space here. We can settle in to the fullness of our soul. We begin to relax and breath deeply. We are finally home. Belonging is a natural right and consequence of being a child of Mother Earth. We are Her children. She is the Mother. She provides for us. When we know Her this way, we begin to honor and love Her.
When we know we belong, we don’t have to keep proving it; we don’t have to deny others’ right to be here; and we don’t have to keep asserting our power. We can simply take our place, alongside each other, alongside all of Life.
Stop for a moment to see how you feel about belonging. What do you belong to? How comfortable are you in taking up space in this world, taking your rightful place, alongside all of Life. Where do you shrink back? Where do you feel you don’t belong? How might belonging be different for you as a woman in this world? What would be different if you realized you belong completely to this world, and this Life? Where is your house of belonging?