The Search for Belonging

“We all eat lies when our hearts are hungry…”

I absolutely love inspirational quotes. I have an entire Pinterest page devoted to them. Each one evokes a strong memory for me when I read it. My mind has been stuck on this quote for the last few days. I couldn’t quite figure out why so I decided to sit quietly and ponder what it meant for me today.

I’m especially susceptible to the opinions of others when I’m not fully connected to God. For several years I had many opportunities to use my gift of teaching and loved every minute of it. God was my source for all the teaching. I’d spend hours a day studying the Bible, journaling, and preparing material.

When my husband and I went through several years of infertility and failed pregnancies I began to distance myself from my faith out of pain. My life became focused solely on getting pregnant. In that struggle I lost myself. Then surprise I got pregnant and had a precious baby girl.

The experience of starting over again left me feeling isolated and desperate for connection. I idealized certain relationships that were not healthy for me. I began to overlook things that went against my moral code. I lost myself. I began to see myself through their eyes, changing what I did, and how I thought just for that connection.

Then it all blew up. Even though I was given opportunities to teach the Word of God my teaching didn’t feel right to me . It felt disjointed and different. Being based solely to please those I was afraid of losing. Eventually that had to come to an end.

I look back now and can see what a blessing in disguise the whole experience was. Not in a way that blames others, but in a way that helped me get to know myself better. I needed to be connected to the Source for true life and true belonging.

Here are some tough lessons I learned:

  1. When we’re lonely we look for things that give us temporary relief from the pain.
  2. When we lack spiritual connection to God we lose focus on what is really important.
  3. Our quest for true belonging cannot be found in a social group.
  4. We lose sight of our passion and unique gifting when we search for the approval of others.

What can I do to find myself again?

  1. Learn to be alone with yourself. Meditation and sitting with your own thoughts can be difficult but well worth the effort.
  2. Check in with yourself multiple time a day. “Does this sit right in my gut?” “Is what I’m doing or thinking align with my goals and values?” “Is what I’m saying about another person kind and true?”
  3. Pray and read. I read many books for self-awareness. I study personal coaches material. I listen to Bible studies. I read the Bible and journal. Praying centers you and reading gives you an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself.
  4. Engage in activities that tend to your soul and align with your passions as frequently as possible.
  5. Distance yourself from social groups and friends that pull you down instead of push you up. This doesn’t mean certain people are bad or good. They just might not be the people you need speaking into your life in this season.

Share your experiences with me! I’m praying for you as all of us seek to know God, ourselves, and others better.

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