Belonging

The human condition is one about belonging. We simply cannot thrive unless we are in relationship. ~ john a powell1

Belonging is topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately. From my inquiry in my own day-to-day living around what it means, and what I long for, to wondering how the notions of belonging are impacting what’s happening in this country, and in the world. Indeed, I think this likely comes through in some of the other things I’ve written lately.

Listening to john powell talk about belonging with Krista Tippett, I found myself feeling a resonance deep in my bones, in my heart. Really, in my soul. It’s one of the places where my heart breaks. The things that we do in order to feel that mammalian need - to belong. The ways in which we can go against our better interest. The ways in which we can other” another. The ways in which we can turn against.

Last week, when in need, I turned to a good friend for support. He paid me close attention. He gave me his full presence. He gave me a space to be. Calling him, I knew I would be seen, and invited into a place where I truly belonged. One of the things he said to me was, I’ve given up on trying to save the world. I simply want to help and support the people that I encounter. To do what I can with my one life.” It’s a way that one person can, with simply the power of attention and the intent to care and love, can, well, change the world.

I think our belonging starts pretty damn small. Hell, one of the things I’m noticing in my own personal work is that it’s so small it’s right. in. here. (He says, pointing at the center of his chest). Of course, in the paradoxical ways that the universe works, this is the biggest place we can enact change (on one level, anyway).

Back to powell’s statement. Relationship, I think, is both an internal and an external experience. As is thriving. And certainly, belonging.

Regardless of how you and I are feeling. Let’s know this: we belong to each other.


  1. This is from a remarkable conversation john powell had with Krista Tippet on her show On Being. I can’t recommend it enough.

October 24, 2018


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