Home » Floating on Faith. » I belong.

I belong.

Belongingness is defined as :

Belongingness is the human need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or a sports team, humans have an inherent desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. The motive to belong is the need for “strong, stable relationships with other people.” This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give and receive affection from others.

I have decided that this year has been a year of finding my belongingness.   Where I belong.  Who I belong to.  Who I belong with.  It’s been an eye-opening experience and I wholeheartedly pray that everyone finds their belongingness.

I belong.

Now, I am right where I belong.  I have a sense of purpose that has been missing for years.  I feel lucky to go to work everyday.  I respect and admire my boss.  Tremendously.  I have a staff that has blossomed under my management which was simply an act of empowerment.  To let them do what they know…that we are in it together, to make it work… They look happier than months ago, they laugh and they know everyday how much I appreciate what they do and how well they do what they do.  My team rocks it and I wouldn’t trade a moment.  I have more to do everyday than I can do and I find that my day passes quickly and that in itself is a blessing.  I am good at what I do and that gives me a sense of pride in my job and in myself.  I belong.

I belong.

I found that I had become hard, angry person that took my position as “Family Control Freak” to the ‘inth degree.  My small family continuously looked to me to fix it, to vent, to lean on, to rescue.  And after a while, I got angry.  I got tired and I didn’t let go.  I realize now that this is the dynamic of this family.  I am the “go to” person.  I have been since I was 14.  And all it took was one statement from my sister…“You have been my mom and dad since I was 11….,” I realized at that moment, it was us.  And there was only the three of us left.  Or so I thought.  I let go of the anger, of the sense of helplessness that I felt every time my mom got sick.  I let go of the anger, the isolation I felt when my sister couldn’t help me.  I let go.  I simply realized that mom wasn’t doing it on purpose.  That she was more angry, more scared than I was.  I realized that my sister was doing the best she could with what she had.  And that she was more angry and more isolated than I was.  I let go.  I let them in, I told them how sorry I was, how I loved them.  And I found my place.  I found my sister, I found my mom…and the love that was always there…I also found that it wasn’t the three of us…there are aunts, uncles, grandchildren, “in-laws”, and soon to be in-laws, that are there to help me.  That these people are there as part of my genetic family.  That I have a place in a larger family than I saw.  And my, how I love this family.  They are mine.  I belong.

I belong.

A year ago, I changed my relationship with my kids.  I became a mommy again.  I changed the “friend” hat for the “parental” hat that I should have never taken off.  To show them that there were limits, that there were consequences to their actions.  That even in letting them learn from their mistakes, they will always have me in their corner. In the past year, I have seen their stability, their security, I have seen their smiles and heard their laughter.  I have seen a peace come over them that only comes with the knowledge that they are first.  I am more peaceful knowing they see me, really see me and the strength that comes with that.  I belong.

I belong.

I have found that I don’t need lots of friends.  I need good friends.  People in my corner that want to be around me.  Not for the parties I throw or the jokes I make.  Not to always be there to pick them up when they are down.  They want to be around me, just for me.  This year, I have learned the hard way that trust isn’t something you just “give away,” it’s something that is to be earned.  That people sometimes suck and they are selfish and have their best interest at heart.  It’s ok for them, but not for me.  That honesty is the best policy and that not everyone can handle it.  I learned that I have to be careful because my friends are an extension of me and speak volumes of who I am.  I love my friends, the new ones that have come into my life and the old ones (no, I am not calling you old, cutie!!!) that no matter what, loves me for me.  The person who is my soldier, my confidant, my soul sisters.  I have found that I fit this group of people and they fit me.  I can’t think of my life any longer without them…and without naming a single one of them…they will know who they are and they will smile.  Because I touch their lives as they touch mine.  I belong.

I belong.

I have loved.  I have lost.  I am not perfect nor am I innocent in any failed relationship in my past.  These days, these people have a fond place in my memories.  I choose to not dwell on where the fault lies, or who did what, who said what and the why of it all.  I simply honor my past, as it shaped me.  I move forward with this amazing woman.  This person that can read my thoughts and finish my sentences.  She shares my home, my children, my heart, my breath and my soul.  This person loves me for who I am.  For who I can be.  I have found support, trust, forgiveness, peace, integrity and a love that is beyond anything I have experienced.  I have found my place.  And it’s at the end of the day, in the crook of her arm.  I belong.

I belong.

It’s been a while since I have spoken loudly and proudly about my faith.  It’s not because it’s faded.  It’s simply because I quietly needed every ounce of it for myself.  I have had a terrifically rough 6 months and the end is in sight, but it’s not over.  I have put all my problems in His hands, asked that He hold me up and show me the path drawn for me.  At times, I don’t understand it, but I follow.  I lost my church home a year ago, it doesn’t feel as welcoming or warm as it once did and I ache for that sense of community, but in the times that I miss it most, I quietly talk to God, tell Him of my sense of loss and He brings me peace.  Someday, He will show me my new church family, it will feel right and it will be right where I need to be.  Until then, I will float on my faith.  Rejoice in His love for me, for my family, for those close to me.  I know that I am loved and forgiven.  That’s enough for now.  I belong.

I belong.

I have spent a lifetime putting everyone and everything before me.  Making sure that everyone else was happy, everyone else’s needs were met and that whatever they needed they had.  I took care of people who I now see, simply couldn’t or wouldn’t do the same for me.  That didn’t put me first.  That put their needs in front of mine and disguised is as their sense of concern “for me.”  I put that down a year ago.  I put me right where I need to be.  I find that I need to be quiet, I need to be sad, I need to be happy, manic, small, angry….I need to be human.  And anything more than that, well…

I belong to me.

5 thoughts on “I belong.

  1. WOW! This spoke to me……you hit the nail on the head with this one. And this is where I am now – finding where I belong – and I’m totally lost…..but this has given me hope!
    Thank you!

    • You will. Listen to yourself, your inner voice. You probably aren’t far from it. Most of the time, you are closer than you think!

      I have faith in you, my friend. All good things happen when they are supposed to! And I am keeping up with you, just to make sure you keep smiling!

      • Wow! well said Stephanie! I feel like a lot of this is me. Still trying to survive this breakup is so hard, and I really feel like I have never been first! I always end up taking care of everybody but me! Love this story! Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Girl, I could probably copy and paste this right over on my blog. I appreciate your honesty so much and seriously, when are you going to move to Miami so we can be neighbors?

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