Today I appreciate the mirror of others and self. Last night was the first PSA Cape meeting for the year. I realised before I went that I wasn’t really looking forward to it. It’s possibly about my current discomfort with my size. I was about to write: “discomfort in being with others.” But it’s actually about discomfort with self. Discomfort in being with others amounts to discomfort with self – a lack of belonging to self!

Outsourcing our sense of belonging

I see more and more that I have outsourced my belonging. The warm acceptance I so often do get at meetings like this gives me a tremendous boost. Last night it was two more people seeking me out to tell me how much they appreciated my webinar on speaking online, others had done the same at the December meeting. I got all excited, and remembered the buzz that webinar gave me. I truly appreciate the importance of reminders like that. However, if my sense of belonging is based more on external affiliations than on inner ones, then I have outsourced it!

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”– Brené Brown

How do I go about belonging to self?

I don’t know that much about learning to belong to myself. I have a growing and exciting awareness of my disconnection with self. My attachment to last night’s feedback is typical. Chatting to Barry reminded me that a primary disconnect is from my body. There are so many examples of this…

Belonging to my body

One is not listening to my body’s needs. I’m amazed at discovering that most of the time I’m about to eat something, it’s not something that my body wants. I’m feeding something, but it isn’t a physical need. This emerging awareness is starting to shift some of my patterns.

Another is not tuning into physical sensations. I have started allowing myself to feel my tummy. I don’t mean touching it or rubbing it like a satisfied glutton. That I have done! I mean quietly sitting and being aware of my body, my stomach. Present to its messages. Discomfort. Bloatedness. I normally skip over it with a sense of disassociation and shame. Now I’m being a bit more curious. At least part of the time.

Even other messages like shoulder stiffness or back discomfort are triggers for shame. I’m sensitive to others assuming that all my ailments are due to being obese, for the simple reason that I make that judgement of myself first. A small exception the other day was with a muscle pain in my back that I felt, tuned into, and managed to relieve through placing a tennis ball between it and a wall, and then moving around to massage the spot. It really helped.

There is hope

We cannot truly belong with others before we truly belong to ourselves. If we don’t belong to self, then we will be owned by others.

So, it seems I AM on the journey of belonging to self. These recent discoveries are still more like the exception than the rule. That’s ok. Awareness is growing. Things are shifting. The longing is so deep. It’s fragile. It’s lonely. In some strange way, it’s beautiful. Hope is sparking. Love is being nurtured. I long to belong to self. What a year this could be…