Last week, I started up a project around belonging and I am setting myself a challenge each week, in an effort to feel a greater sense of belonging to myself and my community.
My first challenge was to be bold. And I spent all week with those words in my head. I dressed brightly, I spoke my mind, I accepted compliments wholeheartedly and yet it was quite a tricky week for me.
Just lots of things culminating to leave a bad taste. I lost a contract at work, I took an accidental 40 mile diversion, my card was declined in the corner shop, a tree in my garden got chopped down. On their own all things you can deal with, but all at once it feels too much.
I took time to see and breathe nature, to reset and to do yoga but I still had this overriding sense of agitation, of feeling ‘what’s next?’.
And then I realised that a lot of things worth having, take work. That means overcoming challenges, getting through bad weeks and, most of all, learning your own coping mechanisms.
Being pushed and pulled and jarred around feels like the total opposite of belonging – it makes you feel like you don’t belong. But I think we need these things to make us bolder, smarter and stronger, to make us question who we are and what we stand for, only then can we really belong.
Most of us in today’s society perceive belonging as materialist, having the same lifestyle, family, designer clothes, cars, but belonging comes from within. It is about seeing someone else’s soul and saying, “I see you. I accept you.” No rules. no dramas, no standards, just welcoming someone else to the circle, flaws and all.
This week has challenged me but it has also set me further along on my journey of belonging. It has made me realise my worth and what I am prepared to stand for. It has also inspired next week’s challenge.
This second challenge is going to be about knowing your own worth and not letting anyone else lessen it. It’s about saying no to a contract because you know you can get a better deal, it’s about speaking up when someone says something to discredit you and it’s about putting yourself first when it comes to self-care, because you can’t do anything without your mind and body being present.
Knowing your own worth is about accepting yourself, all of you, just as you are and being confident about it.