Photo of woman meditating
November 14, 2022

The beauty in belonging

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

—John O’Donohue


Around this time of year cultural expectations begin to emerge in ads where beautifully set tables full of lush food and warm candles are surrounded by happy families greeting each other at the door. Advertising companies invest billions of dollars identifying what we love and what compels us, and they know what we want is to be in relationship with others and to belong. This human desire is innate and as essential to us as breathing. When we experience belonging, we feel safe in the world. In its absence we feel vulnerable.

You or someone close to you may be entering this season feeling vulnerable. You may just have gone through a deep loss or an experience that unmoored you from the life you’ve known. Maybe you’ve been wondering how you’re going to get through the dark winter months, feeling out of sync with the rest of the world. If so, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you find comfort knowing you are not alone and that there is belonging in what you are going through right now.

What I can tell you is your life is about to change, because each experience changes us into a new version of ourselves. And this new version knows things now that it didn’t know a moment ago. Where our old version thought someone or something was essential to our survival, this new version, having lived through the experience, has learned we are stronger than we imagined. We are never static; we are ever-changing, emergent beings.

When we feel vulnerable it is our nature to want to close and protect ourselves. And yet that protection can leave us feeling isolated and alone. It is during these moments we want to encourage ourselves to keep our hearts open and our attention directed toward the possibility of beauty and grace. Today as I look around, I see beauty in the chair I’m sitting in and the mug I am drinking from. I find beauty in the daily ritual of my morning, knowing how far this mug has traveled and the many hands that have touched it along the way. I experience grace in my connection with the sun, the trees and water, and the daily life support I receive from them.

So today, I invite you to join me in cultivating this awareness that we are emergent beings in a relationship with every living thing in the world. And when we are feeling vulnerable, stuck, alone, or isolated, we can engage in the act of relating with the world through grace and beauty and in those experiences find a deep sense of belonging with the whole of existence. Yes.

Xo -s

Leave a Reply

  1. Thank you. I have been seeing such beauty in my days but I’m not sure I am spending the time being “fully” present …. Consciously Present … stopping long enough to experience the whole of the beauty.
    Thank you for bringing greater focus to my experiences.