By Suma Varughese July 2013 When we belong to ourselves, we no longer feel the need to find someone or something to belong to, says Suma Varughese Suma Varughese is a thinker, writer, seeker, latentcrusader and Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive.Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org Recently, I read somewhere that love and belonging are two of the most primary needs of the human being. I can resonate with that because in the last one year, I have had to deeply explore and integrate this need for belonging. It all began after my mother’s death last year. For a few months deep loneliness seized me. I am not really sure now what particular insight healed me but something did and the loneliness left me. However, I still felt a sense of being adrift. I remember reading an article where the author, a cancer therapist, used to routinely ask her clients faced with the issue of mortality, who in their lives was worth living for. With anguish, I realised there was no one in my life to live for. My earlier life had revolved around my mother and my cat – two beings I had loved unconditionally. Both of them had gone and no one had taken their places. Yes, I had family. I had friends in plenty, but even among them there was no one person who was indispensable to me or to who I was. I felt an intense need to belong – to someone or something – but there was no one or nothing I could cleave to. Around this time, I also developed my irritable bowel syndrome. I noticed that when I was in company or feeling relaxed, my digestion was always better. Once again, I found myself wishing that I had someone I could call my own. Someone whose company I could bank on, who was there for me. I no longer pine to belong to anyone or anything because I already belong – to me. After a few months of experiencing these feelings intermittently, I shared them with a friend of mine. She heard me out sympathetically, and then said that as long as we did not have a comfortable relationship with ourselves we would always want to look elsewhere to belong. Her statement made me pause. After all, it had been my life’s work to work on myself and to amplify my self-esteem and self-love. So what was I wailing about? I could belong to myself, could I not? This one thought has changed my whole perspective about belonging. I no longer pine to belong to anyone or anything because I already belong – to me. And the only way I can make this belonging real is to increase and enhance my relationship with myself. Over these few months, I have been doing just that. In any case my ongoing practice of accepting my thoughts, words and actions have helped me forge an increasingly close equation with me. In addition, when going through difficulties and physical discomfort, I whisper comfort and love to myself. When I make a mistake, I make haste to tell myself that it is okay. My constant refrain as I go through the motions of the day is “Loving it (referring to whatever the moment brings us), loving me”. When I do something I approve of, I heap praises upon myself. Every moment, I am soldering my relationship with myself deeper and deeper and the sense of belonging to me is now becoming a palpable reality. That sense of being adrift, of not belonging to anyone, has disappeared. And now that the need is not there, the belongingness to others is happening naturally. Family bonding is getting deeper, and friends are flocking more and more towards me. Recently, a friend with whom I had lost touch about 20 years ago but who had meant a great deal to me, called me. I am to go and stay with her some time this year and she is to do the same. When we belong to ourselves, in truth we belong to the world!
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