I believe that we are hardwired to belong. When we belong, we feel that we are accepted, valued and that, at our very core, we matter. To belong, we do not need to necessarily need to belong to a group, but rather to one another.
For example, let’s say that we love the outdoors, we will feel most at home to others who also have a love of the outdoors. It is in the act of sharing our true selves with at least one other, that we often feel we are at home.
But it also takes great courage to share ourselves with another just as we are. For so many of us have been judged, criticized and hurt by people you once thought you belonged to; whether it be your parents, your schoolmates, a boyfriend/ girlfriend, or spouse.
So like one of the neighbors in Robert Frost’s poem, “The Mending Wall,” you erect walls. Walls, whether physical or emotional, never actually protect us. Research has found that the rejected and the rejectee leave feeling alienated and insignificant. But when we work toward building relationships with one another, we feel that our lives are more meaningful.
In order to build relationships with others, we must first be willing to take the walls down within ourselves and learn to belong to ourselves. I know this may at first seem like a strange notion, Belonging to ourselves, but what I have noticed is that in many ways, we build walls around aspects of ourselves that we do not like, that we may even feel threatened by, and therefore, ultimately reject aspects of ourselves and wall them off to even our own self.
How Do You Take The Walls Down Within Your Own Self?
- Acknowledge. Acknowledge that you may have walls up within yourself that you constructed to stay safe.
- Search. Search within yourself via journaling or talking with a confidant, or a therapist for aspects of yourself that you may have rejected years ago. For example, let’s say you were always accused of being too loud. That was just someone else’s opinion. But for whatever reason you took their opinion on and decided that it wasn’t good to be loud….so you trained yourself into being a quieter person. In order to do so, you walled off the louder aspect of yourself. Now, you’d want to invite that aspect of yourself back realizing that using your voice is actually a good thing regardless of that other person’s opinion.
- Love. Begin to love those aspects of yourself that you may have previously criticized or dismissed.
As you begin to bring down the walls that you had erected years ago within yourself, you will find that you feel more at home within your own skin. As this happens, you will find that you have more acceptance of others as thy truly are. It will be easier to share yourself with others. You will also find that the judger in you becomes more accepting of others. When we are truly at home with ourselves, we are at home with all others.
Please come and join me and like-minded others over at the Facebook LoveTribe.