Right where you are. Don’t feel it yet? Drop deeper out of your head and into your feet. What do you smell? That’s in you now, just by smelling it. Every spore in your every pore. You belong to it. We belong to each other.
I’m often struck by how often people feel like they don’t belong and how this story that people tell themselves really cuts them a lot of nasty slack around how they treat themselves and others.
To feel like I don’t belong means turning away from life and then blaming life itself, the world, my parents, the tree that covered my car in pollen again and, how about Russia too–for how terrible I feel. This becomes most poisonous when that separateness becomes specialness. If you saw what I saw…If you went through what I went through…You have no idea…
We spend so much of our lives protecting, rather than metabolizing, our wounds. We build identity like walls around the holes inside us so we don’t fall in. The fortress of victimhood is not a safe place, it just has thick walls. It’s good to build some doors in there. It sucks to have to scale those walls every time we need food. Fortunately, no matter the builder, the fortress of victimhood is not a closed system.
As long as I’m alive, I belong.
I’m embodied in the dynamic stability of where I am right now, whether I like it or not.
I’m impacted and impacting.
The less responsibility I take for this relationship to all my relations, the more I suffer. The more I suffer, the more I want to put it out of me and throw it at someone “out there”. This means I’m only living from a portion of myself, the rest I am deliberately throwing away, hoping someone will love the parts of me that I can’t. Without those parts I lose structural integrity. This brings not connection, but collapse.
Eventually, people grew weary of being pelted with my orphaned shards. I lost so many people in my life behaving this way (and with such self-righteousness!). Did rough things happen? They sure did. Did I believe that was all that could happen? I sure did. I made sure that what happened aligned with my story of what could happen. Until I didn’t.
Individual relationships can be fragile, but the field of belonging is robust. When I refuse my own integrity, when I keep slinging orphaned shards, I have trouble with boundaries, with nervous system regulation, with intimacy. I am out of my own skin and from that dislocated place I have limited access to my life force. It leaks out all over the place, making a mess. I squander the resources given me to do what I’m here to do. I become paralyzed in my expression, holding back, playing small, living scarce. I am robbing the whole ecosystem of the part I am here to play in it. I am lost to myself and the world is absent me. The ripples of those losses add up quick.
Every noticed breath regains.
Just to breathe is to be in relationship. It’s easy to see that the ground is teeming with life, but so is the air. We have such trouble not believing what we won’t see. We create such trouble not believing what we won’t see. We have an impact with the generosity and consumption of our every breath. One less spore hits the ground, one more whiff of carbon dioxide for that maple leaf. We belong to the whole system and remain specific af.
Our specificity is discovered in relationship. We learn who we are and what is ours to do. Through all our relations we learn how we are the same and how we are different. By metabolizing this friction and allowing it to shape us, we fit perfectly. We begin to see our assignment clearly. Our place in the garden. I learn what kind of flower I am and bloom like that. I don’t need a purpose or goals any more than a peony does. I am just this human. A peony is just a peony. I do what is mine to do as only I can. I nap when needed. I am not lazy. I am at ease. Big difference.
I hope it’s clear how simple this is, and how essential it is to first come out from behind the fortress walls and build a healthy compost pile with every rotting thing so that vital nourishment may be restored. Blame goes into the compost. Resentment goes into the compost. Boundaries emerge easy as heat does out of all that deep and mundane alchemy. The difference between what is dead and what is alive becomes clear. What is dead serves new life. Happy Easter.
Exiting the fortress on your own two miraculous feet is always an option. If you would like support in doing this, DM me. There is a half-day Boundaries and Belonging session next Saturday and new F*ck Suffering Group starting next Tuesday. They’re not free but you can be.