Friday, December 23, 2011

What about Love and Belonging?

From Brene's Browns book...
Exploring the power of love, belonging, and being enough.

When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don't fit with who we think we're supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly preforming, perfecting, pleasing,and proving.. Our Sense of worthiness -that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging -lives inside of our story.  

So I'm to accept all of me the good, the bad, the ugly, parts that I don't think fit and the real loving parts.. what is my story? do I know that?  Well honestly I think it still in the making but accepting all of me now is a good start.  and not that I'm some terrible person but there are these parts that I have to admit I might have been running away from. 

The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now...
have you ever Thought...when I lose 20 lbs I'll worthy...or when I sell enough art work...or when I find a partner or when I can do it all and look like I'm not even trying..?

I might be losing a few people as I go through my own introspective journey here but will it matter in the big  there is a side of me that seems to be awakened lately and answering to a spiritual creative side is really calling and understanding in a different way seems also to be knocking at the door.

On with defining love and belonging... Most of us use the term fitting in and belonging interchangeably and like many of you, I'm really good at fitting in. We know exactly how to hustle for approval and acceptance. We know what to wear, and what to talk about, how to make people happy, and what not to mention- we know how to chameleon our way through the day.  Brene's shares

Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn't require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.

Our society has feed us a bunch of bull for way to long...we should be like this to be fitting in and talk about how it screws up our minds...when we should be embracing the independence of the individual person.   I admit I fall victim to the craziness of trying to be accepted...for me and many of us it I feel it has to do with receiving the instant love/belonging and accepted.  and not feeling that old hurt feeling of being the last on the line to be picked...God who want to go through do you help someone feel good when there little and have just experienced that...well that is just a small sample of  the whole other side...shame.

So Brene carries on with her research...Of this, I am actually certain. After collecting thousands of stories I'm willing to call this fact: A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all woman, men and children.  We are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to love, to be loved and to belong.  When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break, we fall apart We numb. We ache. We hurt others We get sick. There are certainly other causes of illness, numbing and hurt, but the absence of love and belonging will always lead to suffering.

she explains three years of research on this subject as follows.

Love: We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect kindness and affection.
I add what does Vulnerable mean-Vulnerable means you're more likely to experience hurt feelings, injury or illness. Now why would anyone want to walk around and be vulnerable...I don't think we do but by learning that being in this place we can experience hurt feelings and get throw them and have a better understand because of it, it can be possible to allow it.. Know both side of ourselves that we can be so open to get hurt and we can also be so powerful not to..silly balance of it all.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists with in each one of them-we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injures if they are acknowledge, healed and rare. 

Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it.  Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. 

Well I have to share...I went to the book store to purchase this book by Brene Brown, The gifts of Imperfection, for a friend and as I was there waiting to have the book seller go in back to get the book I was looking at other books and the book.. The Dyslexic Advantage-Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain...I snatch up that book so fast..  and like I can read fast...takes me a while to comprehend and understand it all as I share the book I'm reading now about the imperfection...I truly am being selfish, and posting it here so I can better understand it..not to impress any one but only for my own needs to connect better and undertand. So this book is a gift that I found something else that opens my mind and eyes to a better understand of self - acceptance.  Even to this day...I personal walk in I pronounce words or how I share a concepts or how I can't spell when it comes down to some major writing, with grammar problems etc..that has plagued me all my life...So when acknowledgeing my hurts..I'm still doing them at the age of 50 and I constantly have people trying to correct me...I understand that they have a need to "help" or I don't get what are you talking about or I don't understand what your trying to say...That's why I went to art...a way to let it out and express a deeper part of me that I can relate to and it really doesn't matter if they get the whole just of it but they get some of it and the mixed media style of work that I do...graphic and urbanish...with fragment of images or values of color and shapes are my way of expressing...I really don't to  a super job of explaining but yet I do have to come to acceptance of it and with that I then can carry a better understand to verbally express myself too. constantly learning..

And the last bits here...Brene shares... Given how difficult it is to cultivate self-acceptance in our perfectionist society and how our need for belonging is hardwired, it's now wonder that we spend our lives trying to fit in and gain approval.
It's so much easier to say, I'll be whoever or whatever you need me to be as long as I feel like I'm part of this" From gangs to gossiping, we'll do what it takes to fit in if we believe it will meet our need for belonging. But it doesn't. we can only belong when we offer our most authentic selves and when we're embraced for who we are. 

Well that's a whole lot to take in and a bit deep...I really am curious how I'll comprehend this all and bring it into the studio and into my class teachings.. One never knows'...keeps it exciting..


  1. Laura I am enjoying your notes about the books you are reading. I am going to pick up the book about Dyslexia. Though I have not been tested I am sure I have dealt with dyslexia also. I have reached success even with the handicap of Dyslexic. I retired from 23 yr career in 2000 (the 23 year career was a very rewarding experience and I learn a lot) and decided to back to school/college. I needed to write a final term paper for my psychology class. I chose the topic “Dyslexia.” As I read and studied with 4 books about Dyslexia preparing to write my paper I found many moments of completing understanding the symptoms described. Once I finished writing the paper I knew I had hit on the one thing that had made elementary, middle & high school so difficult for me. Once you understand ….a light at the end of the tunnel appears because you then know what makes you different and you begin learning how to cope. Thanks for sharing the book titled. Many Hugs….. Kim

  2. Wow!! So much good stuff Laura!! I may have to read that book! You grabbed me right off with the first paragraph. So much time spent trying to be who we think we are supposed to be instead of being who we truly are meant to be. If we could all just keep that in the forefront of our mind!!

  3. Kim, the book that I'm reading sounds like it's going to be a great help for you and many that despites our difficults we are successful.

    Robin... it's one of the hardest things to do is be real with ourselves and sitting well with that and not worring about what others think we should be.


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