anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

No One "Belongs"



About a week ago we were sitting in church talking about things that we could improve on. Several people had already said that our community was good at welcoming new people and making them feel like they belonged, but then as we talked more about things we could improve on, one person broke down in tears saying how they had never felt like they belonged, even though they had lived there for years.

Suddenly the room was full of people saying how they felt that too, if not now, then that they had felt that way. I sat there silent, echoing it in my heart. I have lived where we are currently living for the better part of almost twenty years. We moved there when I was nine and I never felt like I fit in. I was the weird new girl with glasses. Every time I seemed to make a friend they moved away. The feeling of not "fitting" made me feel so uncomfortable that if I hadn't already believed my church was true, I would have stopped going altogether.

Since then there have only been a few times where I have felt like I belonged in my church. It seemed that the feeling of fitting in was always something that was just outside my grasp.

After we had this discussion I put a poll on my Instagram stories, asking if anyone else had felt that way. 100% of the people who voted said that they had also felt that way. One HUNDRED percent. I was amazed by the number.

As I talked with more people about it, there wasn't a single person who said that they hadn't felt that they were outside of the "center". That place where everyone feels like they always fit in and that they are always good enough, it just doesn't exist. I think that in every situation, not just at church, it's easy to feel like we aren't part of the crowd, that we are alone while everyone else is having a good time. Social media doesn't seem to help the matter.

With all of that, I still feel that way. I still feel like I don't fit. We've come back to this community while we are looking for a house and I feel just like I did that first day as a nine-year-old. These aren't my people. I'm not theirs either. 

Yet, once I let that feeling go, the one that I needed to fit in and that I needed them to accept me, I felt more like I fit in than I ever have. There's something to be said for relying on your own opinion of yourself and what it does for your confidence. For me, that's the best way that I've found to get around the feeling that everyone else is doing better, has more friends, or fits in better than I do. 

It isn't always easy. Sometimes that feeling of not belonging comes creeping back in. However, the more I work at it (and the older I get), it seems to matter less and less. I know what the people I care about think of me, and I like the person that I am. 

What do you do when you feel like you don't belong?
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