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Day 86: Belonging to Myself?

What does it feel like to fully belong to yourself?

This question popped into my mind while driving to the 8 a.m. CrossFit class, aware that it was the best ‘fit’ for the day even though the environment has been less than welcoming of late. I smiled to recognize a familiar pattern in myself, that of bringing another community of possible belonging into my life as I am changing enough to question where/how I belong in my current community(ies). It seems like I assist myself in differentiating by assuring belonging elsewhere while I shift who and how I am. My sacred mountain quest had its own invitations/purposes, but it was also to be in a different circle-way community than Women Writing. I’m beginning to dip into Bombers CrossFit in Beavercreek while my sense of belonging shifts or lessens with CrossFit Dedication. If I felt more fully a belonging to myself first, would this pattern be necessary? Do I even know what it feels like to belong fully to myself? Independent of communal belonging?

I think the question arose because of something Brene Brown named in her book Braving the Wilderness, citing Dr. Maya Angelou. In an interview with Bill Moyers, Dr. Maya admitted that she didn’t belong anywhere. To his follow-up question, “Do you belong to anyone?” she responded, “More and more. I mean, I belong to myself. I’m very proud of that. I am very concerned about how I look at Maya. I like Maya very much. I like the humor and courage very much. And when I find myself acting in a way that isn’t…that doesn’t please me—then I have to deal with that.” (p. 28, Brown). Brown wrestles with the tension in this for her, inviting me/us to do the same. She dove into four more years of research toward a Theory of True Belonging. I’m hoping 100 more words will plant the seed for me.

I know my connection to others, my sense of belonging, doesn’t depend upon what I do for them. I constantly forget this, of course. I’m already connected to others, intimately and existentially so. But my helping-self, my giftedness to intuit, often means I’m looking outwardly, to others first…for safety…security…belonging.

This morning, I decided to bring the kind of energy I wish were more a part of the 8 o’clock class again. I decided that I would re-institute the Marc Herbst fist-bump/good-job! gesture at the end of the workout, for all those who are welcoming. As I left the gym, I startled to feel fully myself. I felt like I belonged a bit more.

Is it really that simple…but not? Lisa belongs to Lisa? I am very concerned about how I look at Lisa? I like Lisa very much. I like the humor and courage very much. And when I find myself acting in a way that doesn’t please me, then I deal with that?

Does belonging to myself first mean the others don’t matter, at least for belonging’s sake?

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