You may not have heard of Brené Brown, an American researcher who has done a couple of excellent TED Talks. So here’s why I’m mentioning her here.
She has found an intentional connection between love and belonging, and now recognises as fact that ‘A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all women, men and children.’ Here are her definitions which I think are worth thinking on:
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow; a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
Belonging is the innate human desire to be a part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval; which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging but also barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
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