The Need to Belong

Belong. A marvellous word with a warm and cozy sense imbibed in every letter of it. It doesn’t necessarily mean to possess like an object, but it could bear much more mellow meanings such as, to be included, to be welcomed, to be accepted, but most importantly, to be connected, by heart, mind, and soul with complete comfort. We are all striving in one way or the other to feel like we are not alone on this big blue planet, fighting through the hurdles tossed at us by life, fighting to belong in that one place we could wish on every single shooting star. I think we can all agree that this need to belong is what keeps us moving. This is what pushes our nights past us and pulls up a new day to take another step forward. 

I am no expert when it comes to reading people or their wonderful thoughts, but I have witnessed a certain expression a few times from time to time, on so many people and it is always so similar, but the circumstances under which I have seen it, varies greatly. It starts off as this spark of familiarity. A sense of hope kindling in the pits of their soul, as though they have found their way back home after being lost for aeons. Curiosity and excitement consumes every bit of their existence and they lose track of every thought that crosses their mind within that span. Just as soon as they are met with that feeling, the feeling that they were right all along, and that they were never as alone as they had once thought, this immeasurable relief washes over their blood and they breathe. They exhale a hefty amount of stress they hold within and allow themselves to finally breathe. An uncontrollable glow lights up their smile and every word they speak from then on is a confirmation that they finally feel like their long wait has come to an end. The emotions that follow next are their own and only they know why they react the way they do, but regardless they finally feel like they belong. 

No matter the situation, the satisfied relief of feeling belonged is a wonderful high, that provides reassurance to all the struggles we have dealt with till that moment. It maybe someone who has gone through so much to attain a distinguished position in a fashion label, someone who finally feels heard by their family and friends after years of being ignored, someone who has joined a secret society of writers where there are people who think and write just like them and appreciate them for their work, someone who can comfortably identify their sexuality within their chosen group of people, and someone who finds solace in being alone with nothing but the night sky, the moonlight, music playing in the background and their self-love to suffice their need to belong. Regardless of how different our lives have taken, I can promise you that, I know what it feels like to yearn for a place where you can belong without having to work for it, because each and every one of us deserves such a safe space. 

Why do we feel the need to belong? Why can’t the environment we have been used to for so long, douse the burning need to find a new place of comfort? Maybe that’s why. What we have been used to, is our normal. What we seek is a miracle, something new but something we have wanted for so long, the moment when we can shrug away our normal and step into a reality where everything about every moment feels perfect to the point where one might just pause and take in the moment. Because we are people of our own thoughts, dreams and desires, and just because we are a part of our family or a member of our friend group or even an employee of a big company, it does not mean, our desires must be in inclination with the interests of others. A person can portray themselves to be this strong and fierce individual with logical thoughts and someone who does not have the time in the world for any kind of fun frivolities, but deep down they might secretly seek a place somewhere high up in the clouds with a magical squadron of pegasi prancing around them while they fall asleep, bathing in the moonlight and we might never know. I am proud to admit that my sense of belonging relies on the fictional realms that exist only in my mind. And if there was another place I could run to when my mind fails to provide that necessity for me, I have a few people around me, who know me well enough to comfort me just the way I would care for myself. Hence my need to belong resides in my mind and in the hearts of those that love me and I cherish them cordially for that. 

Ask yourself, when was the last time you were so overwhelmed that you wanted to capture that moment where you felt like you couldn’t belong in any other place better than that moment? Where did you last have this feeling? Who made you feel this way? Do you belong to this moment in your life, right where you are, now? Is there a destination in your mind where you’re hoping to belong someday? Ask yourself questions you haven’t asked yourself in a while. Before chasing after materialistic and temporary sense of belonging, find solace in your own skin, in your truest emotions and in every single breath you take because that way, your need to belong doesn’t depend on the ever-changing world and it is yours and only yours to control. And last but not the least, be proud of the place that you feel belonged to because that is who you are and who you are meant to be.

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