You’re Not Supposed to Belong
That’s not the point of you.
You’d be surprised how many people resonate with the statement, “I don’t belong in this world.” I know it floored me when I first realized I wasn’t the only one.
I was sitting in a large room with almost a thousand people when a speaker asked how many felt like they didn’t belong, and at least a third of that room immediately raised their hand. No hesitation, and equally as shocked to see all the others staring back at them with that deep sense of knowing.
There are more of us than you think… but even when we meet those lost soul sisters and brothers, we still feel alone.
And it’s not just a mild feeling of being out of place, is it? It’s those of us who are absolutely certain we were born in the wrong era, or even on the wrong planet. Who feel an intense sense of loneliness and isolation standing amongst family and close friends, even the partners we share our lives with. The ones who feel so out of place and different to the core of our being that we simply don’t understand people and how they interact. Like foreigners staring in wonder and confusion at a culture with rituals that seem so strange. It’s hard as hell, am I right?
Here’s what I’ve learned:
I’m not supposed to belong.
I’m not meant to fit and there will never be a place for me.
I will likely always battle with intense feelings of isolation and loneliness, no matter how many amazing people I attract into my life. I may never sit alongside my family and close friends and think, “this is where I’m meant to be.” People will probably never really make much sense to me, and I’ll probably always be confused by how others approach life. I will always be the oddball, weirdo, or the “different” one that sticks out like a sore thumb… and I will always feel that way, even if no one else thinks I’m out of place.
But you see… that’s the point.
I’m not supposed to belong.
We’re not supposed to belong.
While I may show up everyday from a space of not belonging, I’m also incredibly purpose driven… and I’ve learned that most all of the other oddballs are too.
We don’t all want to make changes in the world in the same ways, but we see things differently. So by nature, that prompts us to desire new ways of being and creating and living in this life. And in order to create change, you have to do things in a new way… you have to be different.
You’re not supposed to belong because you’re meant to be the catalyst for a revolution, big or small. You’re meant to shake things up, make others question their own lives and selves, and create new ways of approaching old issues. To bring a new sound, perspective, or voice to a space that’s becoming stagnant and stale.
I know this goes against human nature.
I know it’s hard and painful. Believe me, I know.
We crave a sense of belonging and finding our tribe because we’re wired for survival. And back in the day, if you got separated or alienated from the tribe, well… something awful was certain to hunt and kill you. You wouldn’t survive. So even though we live in an age where we can survive without a tribe, it terrifies us. It’s instinctual to want to belong, to feel a desire to be with the people that get us.
And there are people who will get you, they will. But even those of us that don’t feel like we belong, we’re so different that we don’t even match up with one another. But that doesn’t meant that we can’t still hold one another and say, “I know… I get it.”
And you my friend, you are not alone.
I know. I get it.
I will always be the one sitting in a group, maybe even laughing along with everyone, feeling that intense sense of not belonging.
But instead of letting those feelings flatline me like they used to, sending me into such a dark and lonely space, I let it remind me why I’m here. And I’m not here to belong, nor am I here to have “a place” with others. That’s not the point of me… and to do the work I feel so deeply called to do, I have to be different at my core.
You belong simply because you’re here.
You’re worthy of love and joy and happiness. You’re capable of having it. Of having people that you adore and who adore you in all your weird ways.
And I promise that if you embrace all that makes you strange and different, you will absolutely find others that can do the same. Even if they don’t really understand, or if they’ll never experience how you feel.
But “belonging” in the sense of “I’m like everyone around me,” that’s just not the point. You’re here to do great things in the world and for others, whether those great things are big or small. Global or within the walls of your own home. You’re here to shake things up and create changes that no one else can create.
That’s the point of you my dear.
And it’s so, so important that you embrace it.
Because we need you to leave that weird, unique mark. We need you to be different and to go against all that is known and normal. We need you to show up in only the way you can. We’re desperate for it.
So tell me, how will you show up more fully as the oddball that you are today? How will you turn it from a bad thing to something that motivates you to leave your mark in only the way you can, big or small?