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Your mission: Belong to a place



Believe it or not, belongingness is a word.


Moreover, it's a thing right now. Alienation – the antithesis of belonging – is blamed for everything from suicide, to widespread ennui, to fringe political affiliations. Phew.


So most of us are seeking belongingness. Somewhere. Anywhere. It's a fundamental human need.


I know that belonging involves other people, of course: people need people. But in my book (Infinite Messages chapter, p. 255), I urge my children to belong to a place, somewhere to which they feel a deep connection. Where they can say, “In this moment, this is me on this earth, and this is where I belong.”


I'm a fanatic about this because I know from personal experience that when this mindfulness of place happens, we can know the elation, and the great comfort, of coming home.


So you can imagine my joy when my LA-based second son recently found “his place.” That's him in the photo, celebrating his find surrounded by family and literally immersed (thanks to his fashion-forward instincts regarding camo waders) in the experience of simply being there.


Researchers say that a sense of belonging may be just as important as food, shelter and physical safety, and is found across all cultures and different types of people. They note that for indigenous cultures, other people and place are not only synonymous but inextricably entwined, providing a deep sense of belonging and identity.


As I write in “It's Hard Being You,” you need to belong!

- to a person (know at least one person intimately)

- to a tribe ( a family, a cause, a religion, a profession)

- to a place (somewhere that calls you to be present)


A robust sense of belonging is crucial to human well-being and can improve health and resilience for individuals and communities worldwide. That's power!


The feeling of belonging is totally subjective – there is no formula for creating it – so “there” can be anywhere, depending on what you bring to a particular place.


It involves cultivating a relationship beyond simple familiarity. It's knowing that you are somehow an integral part of your surroundings.


Actively looking for that connection is crucial to getting there.


Go for it.


 

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10 comentarios


Invitado
27 ago 2023

Sharon, so eloquently said. I paused to thing about belongingness. I feel sorry for those that do not feel they belong. Thank you.

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Invitado
23 ago 2023

Not surprisingly, I have that sense of place in the cottage up north and that feeling every time I arrive. Love the photo and so glad that Ben has "his place" now!~ jeanie

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Invitado
21 ago 2023

Hi Sharon, it’s Nancy again. This also reminds me of a tradition my mother had of saying Home Sweet Home when we had been away, even it was just for the day. She would say it when we were about to pull up into our driveway and all of us would join in and say home sweet home also. I do not know why I did not continue that tradition with John and Paul & Cara. I think that maybe I did some times but it wasn’t every time like my mother said it. I think I recall she even sometimes sang a song she made up about home sweet home. Such good family memories!!

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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
21 ago 2023
Contestando a

I love that tradition, Nancy!

It reminds me of what Jessica used to say when we were visiting a wonderful place (including our cottage!), but it was time to leave: "Today's the Big Day - we're going home!" Like yours, it's a good memory. XO

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Clarice Joos
Clarice Joos
19 ago 2023

Hi Sharon! That is terrific advice, and also very synchronous for me, as I just read a piece in the NYT a day ago about the very same thing. A lake is such a good place to belong, isn’t it? I’m lucky to have a special lake in my life too — Indian Lake, NY — where I always feel like I’m coming home. I start to crave the air of the place when I’ve been away too long. It’s great to see your LA-based second son rocking some camo and a big, happy smile. But is it me, or does that dock look a little spindly??

Best,

Clarice

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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
19 ago 2023
Contestando a

So glad you've found your "place," Clarice!

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Invitado
19 ago 2023

Hi Sharon, Greetings from Nancy Yeager. I agree with you.

Reminds me of The Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz telling Dorothy to repeat over and over again,

There Is No Place Like Home,

till she got back home to her family and homeland and surroundings that she loved.

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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
19 ago 2023
Contestando a

You know it, Nancy. So true!

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