Swimming Alone, starring Gumby
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2010
I don't think there is a living soul who does not struggle with a sense of belonging at some time.
The interesting thing with the concept of belonging is that, by its very nature, it creates a barrier - an inside and outside. There is a concept of belonging within each of our individual relationships, be they familial, friendships, lovers, sports or work teams and political affiliation.
Unfortunately, all too often, we attach our own sense of value to our belonging within these relationships. Are we worthy? Why aren't we worthy? Why aren't we good enough? Why isn't another person good enough to belong?
What if we re-framed our attachment to others in terms of it having nothing to do with us - particularly in love relationship or team? This is where I remind us of The Four Agreements according to Don Miguel Ruiz:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Do your best.
I have considered myself an outsider in all sorts of relationships and, until recently, I have put myself to blame as the cause of this. Now, I view things differently.
Perhaps I am exceptional, aka: outside the group. Perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps not fitting means that I am an explorer beyond the norm. Perhaps I have turned my focus to a different concept of belonging: that is with a universal perspective rather than a divisive perspective. I am of the world. I am one with all. My value is inconsequential. I am here. I am doing my best. I am present with each breath and gentle step on the Mother Earth.
I will fail myself and others on days when I am hurt and petulant. I will learn, forgive myself and keep going.
I belong through my awareness of the perfection of Mother Earth and all that is beyond her, all of the ancestors throughout time. I am in the stream and flowing with her. Listen. Love Learn. Give. This is sufficient.
-Gillian Cornwall, c. April 30, 2017
Gillian Cornwall, c. December 2014