Where do you belong?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Family of teddy bears.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“I don’t belong here.”

Lots of people say they don’t belong here. Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes people who say and think that, mean here, now, in the present situation or place. Sometimes they mean on this earth.

When you don’t feel like you belong it is hard to be motivated, to have a purpose. Some people despair of ever finding a place where they can belong.

We talk about our “belongings,” the things we own. But feeling like someone’s possession, that can’t make us feel like we belong. Feeling that you are where you should be is not about things.

For some people belonging is about being tucked safely and securely in a close affectionate group. It might also mean feeling like we are the same as those around us. For other people belonging is being surrounded by people who accept us for who we are and encourage us to be ourselves even if that self is different from the self they have.

Some kids who have moved a lot tell me they feel this lack of belonging. People from families that never accepted them for whom and what they are; say they don’t feel like they belong also. If your family does not affirm you or if you have no friends it is not likely you can feel that you belong there. But where do you belong?

When you are always moving, starting over with new friends, new routines, it is hard to feel like you fit in. Some people find that right place, that time they fit in, early in life. Some of us spend our lifetimes looking for that place.

It is not just kids; adults say the same thing. They have spent their lives looking for that one place they fit in, that belief, cause, or activity that makes them feel that this is their one special place, the place they belong, the place they ought to be.

Sometimes it is a relationship where we belong, which gives out lives meaning. But relationships can end and then we ask if we still belong.

Elizabeth Lesser in her book Broken Open says it this way. “The first time I assisted at a birth, I had that feeling that I belonged exactly where I was, that there was nowhere else I would rather be.”

Some of us grow up not knowing where we ought to be. We may travel the world only to return to the place where we started and find there the place we always belonged, the place we needed to be.

Others of us travel and somewhere in those moves we find a place where we finally can say this is where I belong.

People will tell us that they find that belonging feeling in a spiritual place, a church, temple, mosque, or a clearing in the woods. We might find the place we belong in a cause or political movement. Why it is that one person feels at home in one place and another in a quite different setting I cannot say.

Recovering people have told me that the first time they ever felt at home, like they belonged there, was in a twelve-step meeting, among other people who understood their struggles and who welcomed them home.

Many among us will work their whole lives at a job so that they can finally retire and go on their quest for the place they belong, the thing that gives their life meaning. Others find that calling early in life and belong doing what they do their whole life. Sadly some people never do find that place where they belong.

Have you found that place where your life has meaning and purpose, a place where people accept you, that one place where you belong?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

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