Does a Sense of Belonging Help a Person in Self Discovery?
The desire for recognition is the greatest human emotional need. Belonging can be described in many different ways; it takes on many different meanings for different people in different circumstances. Belonging is an important part of our lives. Every human being has something that creates a sense of belonging in his or her life. Belonging can involve a relationship, place, family, country, love, cultural, and religion and for some people it is a place called home. However, I feel that, even though we are born and rooted in a specific family and culture, we come to this Earth to open up to others. We are here to serve them and receive the gifts that they bring to us as well as Humanity.
A sense of belonging dictates our level of confidence. Try as we might, we cannot function without others, as we are social beings. The moment we are born and bonded with our parents, the social cycle of inclusion begins. Family, relatives, schools, friends, relationships, societies and work become a part of us. Other people confirm our being and reinforce our culture and identity. Others act as mirrors, which reflect our presence. When this image is unclear, or does not match with our own self-perception, it leads to withdrawal or an identity crisis.
Other people’s attention, recognition, praise, and love are lifelines to our endeavors. They reinforce who we are and give us the purpose to continue with our lives. When people whom we care about reject us, we are likely to reject ourselves too. We may internalize hate and spew it back on the family and community in the form of deviant, selfish conduct. Most juvenile and adult problems come from a deep sense of not belonging to anyone or anything. Such people have most likely undergone rejection of some sort in childhood or in a relationship. This denial leaves them with a sense of seclusion, and probably a desire to be destructive. They may feel that they are without anyone on their side that really cares about them or their future. The way that people treated us, and we treat ourselves connects to how we treat those around us!
My article is to emphasize the fact that unless we are attached to a group, unless we can identify ourselves with one, we cannot break out from the shell of individualism and self-centeredness, that which both protects as well as isolates us! We require that external validation to exist, as a stranger never belongs to any group.
Let us set out on a journey to understand. Let us consider how a sense of belonging helps a person in recognizing what he/she wants out of Life.
This can be very interesting if you take this quiz on self-assessment.
- Do you like/love yourself?
- Are you well informed of your strengths and weaknesses?
- What would you give to be in another person’s shoes?
- Even after making mistakes, are you capable of owning up to your foolishness?
- Do you consider that life has its own ways of making you feel wonderful?
- How much do you feel life offers you? What can you give Life back in return?
- Do you see a glass as half full or half empty?
- Can you forgive people?
As you answer these questions, and answer them honestly, it is like reintroducing yourself. You are getting to know the person you always were. In this manner, the Self, that is capable of attempting and achieving many goals, goes on a journey. The soul undertakes a journey to discover how powerful the Human Being can be and that living otherwise, is a mere existence for him.