Where Do You Belong? INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris

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Where do you belong?


By Adina Morris

For as long as I can remember, I have been looking for the elusive place where I felt I belonged. In school, growing up, I was very different from just about everyone in my class, as the Rabbi’s daughter in a local day school out of town. I had friends, sure, but I was always a little different. In seminary and college I found friends that were as different and unique as me. They became my best friends who are still with me today. None of us are what you would call cookie cutter kids. Yet we each found our way to make the most of where we were and found a sense of belonging as best we could.

As I have matured I have found that belonging is a state of mind, not an actual place or community with an address or name attached to it. We can find commonalities without being clones.

In fact, being unique creates a sense of unconditional belonging. How so? Well, if you are unique, you are the only one that needs to be followed. You do not have to go to a certain school or camp to belong. Wherever you decide is right for you is by definition where you belong. Yes, sometimes we are not given choices of where we are or where we have to go. Hashem places us in our unique position because it is where He believes we belong to accomplish what only we can uniquely do.

So instead of looking for belonging among the people surrounding me, I began to start by looking within me. Where do I feel most connected, engaged and purposeful? Where am I making a difference and contributing? Where am I thriving?

When you can honestly answer these questions, you will find your long awaited for belonging spot. It may not be near anyone you know or even heard of, however, it was saved just for you. You will know when you have found your place, when you no longer look around to see what other people are doing and who belongs with who and which schools they send to, what kind of house they live in, car they drive, where they shop, what they wear, where they volunteer, go for vacation or what they do for a living.

This past week I was leaving the parking garage after an appointment when I found myself a little confused in the garage. Normally there are signs telling you which way to enter, exit and signs that say do not enter. However, this garage did not have signage at the turn of the bend. It was not clear which way to go, left or right. Part of me wanted to turn left but the car in front of me turned right. So I figured, well there goes my bad sense of direction again, I guess I was wrong. I followed the car in front of me. To my surprise, all of the sudden the car in front of me started to backup and position for turning around! It was going the wrong way! Cars were coming at us from all directions now! Thankfully everyone waited patiently as we both had to backup and turn around. Aside from feeling totally mortified in having gone the wrong way in a parking garage, it occurred to me that sometimes, my own lack of clarity of belonging leads me to believe that the best route is to follow the person in front of me. Now, maybe sometimes you luck out and you are right, but I would guess more often than not, you are going the wrong way! What is right for one person may not be right for another.

Belonging is about being comfortable in your own skin and being in your element, not being like everyone else around you.

We were not put on this earth to mimic what other people are doing. Each person is to do what is right for them regardless of what the masses are doing. Because at the end of the day, when you will have to answer if you fulfilled your unique mission, answering that you were following everyone else may lead you down the wrong path. #Belonging

How do you answer these belonging questions for yourself?

  1. Where do I feel most connected, engaged and purposeful?
  2. Where am I making a difference and contributing?
  3. Where am I thriving?
  4. Where do I feel a sense of belonging?

I would love to hear from you! Drop me a line about how you belong!