Today my daughters went to school dressed as Geisha’s, complete with robes, hair flowers & fans. They were taking part in ‘Harmony Day’ – a day to celebrate different cultures from around the world. It is also a day where the children (and adults) are reminded that Everyone Belongs.
Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Maybe there was a time where you didn’t feel like you belonged at school, amongst friends, at work, or even within your own family. That awful feeling where you feel like there’s no real place for you and that no one would miss you if you weren’t there. Regardless of our age, finding a place to belong can appear challending, daunting or even impossible.
Feeling as though you don’t belong is uncomfortable, and can even be quite devastating. The upside is that it makes us more compassionate and empathic people. If you find yourself in a season where you are struggling to find a place to belong, here are a few thoughts that might help…
Find what You Love
You don’t have to be or do the same as everyone else. You be you, and find whatever it is that You love. When you find what you love, you’ll already be a happier person.
Join a Group or Volunteer
Whether you already know what you love, or really have no idea, there are hundreds of groups out there for lovers of almost anything! Do a google search and find a group you can check out/ join / or volunteer in. You will find like-minded souls you can connect with. And if you don’t like the first thing you try – try something else! Eventually you will find the thing that flicks your switch.
Smile & be friendly
When you are meeting new people (or old ones for that matter), put a smile on your dial! No one wants to hang around a sour puss. Even if you are super shy, push out that smile and say “hello”. It will help you to appear much friendlier and approachable, and give you the best chance of building connection.
Don’t forget where you came from
Once you have connected with friends and found your place, don’t forget where you came from. There will be others you will encounter that are just like you once were – looking for a place to belong. Remember how it felt, and use that empathy to help them along their journey to belonging.