The theme this month is belonging. I believe our need to belong is, for a lack of a betterterm, a positive addiction. Belonging is a positively selfish addiction which is at the core of what drives us to be the best we can be. How we achieve the best inside ourselves depends on how aware we are, how open to new experiences we might be and how much we are willing to risk. The successes we have in life happen only when we can share them. At one time or another we have all felt the sting of rejection. It is a painful experience – one that we certainly don’t want to experience too often.
I believe that every individual is driven to belong in meaningful individual and group relationships. When you belong you find authentic, unconditional love – love that is freely received and given. Love empowers us to be cooperative, to be supportive and collaborative. Love provides us with the strength we need to overcome the adversity, challenges and stressors in our lives. The key words are mutual and reciprocal. Belonging cannot be a one way action. It has to been shared. People who don’t belong suffer a kind of aching loneliness; some describe it as isolation that leaves them empty. Some often try to mask those feelings by becoming “workaholics” or worse. They become one dimensional shells or beings.
Ask yourself who do you love? Have you told them you do and how often do you tell them? Do you love unconditionally or are there strings attached? If there are strings, cut them loose. Do those who make major contributions to your success in life know that you appreciate their efforts and friendship? There are not too many do-overs in life. These second chances, if we get them, come with a cost. If you want to belong, be ready to reciprocate. Reach out to find the right person or persons who will make you whole, who will empower you. When you do, you will find yourself more confident, self assured and ready to take on the adversity and challenges life puts in front of you. You will find greater success and balance in your life and as a result you will be happier.
I challenge you to tell the people you love that you love them. Yes, out loud and use those three little words. Be sure the people who you depend on at work or in the community know that you couldn’t achieve what you do without them. Let them know that they belong to you. Do this in an authentic, genuine and no strings attached manner and see what happens. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed and neither will those you tell.