I sit on the board of directors of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (dbsalliance.org) an organization dedicated to helping those living with mood disorders. At our quarterly meeting in December, I sat in a room with like minded people working hard to better the lives of others. It’s an honor to belong to such a group of good souls whose hearts are in the right place.
Belonging and Attachments
We humans are wired to belong. Belongingness (yes, it’s a word) is a state of being an essential or important part of something: our primary relationships, our families, our friend groups and our communities, amongst others. Those living with depression and bipolar belong to the mood club. As members, it’s true that we’ve paid our entry fees with episodes of depression and mania but…we’re in. Because of this, we find sanctuaries filled with shoulders to cry on, nourishment for our souls and kindred spirits with whom we share our hopes and dreams. It is only through these connections that we can be the best of whom we are. I don’t believe it’s possible to travel this pathway toward our better selves on our own. To do so, we must belong. Through the attachments that come with belonging, we come to know others and allow others to know us in the most genuine of ways. What more precious gift is there?
Belonging and the Big things
This state of belongingness has allowed me to navigate through adversity. This, in turn, has compelled me to slow down and get lost in life’s sweet little moments and, at the same time, see the larger things that matter the most: compassion, kindness, decency, authenticity and true connection to others.
Belonging and Sacred Gifts.
Belongingness has given me precious gifts: being my better self, knowing others and allowing them to know me, seeing myself honestly as I navigate through adversity, claiming ownership of myself without secrecy, pausing more often to smell those proverbial roses and reaffirming the deeper and most important things in life. Belongingness has made me richer in all the ways that matter the most to me. Belongingness has allowed me to know the love of others in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Belongingness has given me these most sacred of gifts. I’m very lucky to belong.