somewhere to belong, something to do
Around holidays or your birthday, you might feel a bit down if you are not in a good relationship or have your family and friends nearby. It is clear we all need somewhere to belong.
In fact, one of the purposes of traditions surrounding holidays and its pageantry is to bring people together and give them something to do while they connect in a healthy way.
We celebrate life when we get together. All the celebrating begs for someone to celebrate with and a disarming healthy something to do to keep us talking and interacting.
Consequently, we thrive when we feel a sense of belonging and connectedness.
Humans need these connections.
Deep down, we crave feeling trusted, liked, included, or needed.
Groups, families, community activities, clubs, civic organizations are, at their core, somewhere to belong.
Some people seem to join everything. I used to be one of those people who participated in every possible group around me and enjoyed the camaraderie. Often, I recommend to lonely folks to find a group or club to join to break up their days and give them companionship.
If you have a close family, consider yourself blessed. My remaining family lives far away, so I miss the interaction and social gatherings. I am thankful we still get together once or twice a year though.
Beyond the holiday gatherings and special traditions, our place in a tribe give us structure, meetings, and purpose.
Remember Cheers? We want to go where people know our name and are glad we came.
Don’t misunderstand. Depending on personality, the levels of connection vary widely, but we still need them.
If you feel vague loneliness, maybe you are missing community or conversation. Maybe you need someone to talk sports or kids with you. Who do you hash out the stupid thing you said last week or get advice when you need it?
It is through community, relationships, conversations, and work or recreation, our humanness is affirmed. Someone enjoys our company. We belong there.
The places to belong are not always positive.
Humans will do some stupid things to feel a part of something.
We will spend time with unsavory people or in bad situations to feel included, safe, or important. Gangs and bullies are a good example of a negative solution to a personal need.
In the same way, and in spite of how negative they are, bad personal relationships keep people mired for years, because the person tells themselves “At least I am not alone.”
When looking for somewhere to belong, we also need something healthy to do with our time when we gather with our tribe.
Replace troublesome with healthy. Whether it is you or someone you love, give yourself or them somewhere to belong and something to do that is positive.
If you have a young person who is getting into trouble, get them busy with something physically or mentally demanding and fill their hours with purpose and connections. Leave them no time or energy for the unsavory or negative.
In the same vein, if you are someone who keeps choosing the wrong girl or guy, you need to get busy with something else. Put your mind on something mentally and emotionally healthy. As a direction, your purpose is a good place to start.
Focus on what you are meant to do with your life and a better partner will find you. Find a group that does what you do in a positive way, so you will have interaction.
As a guide, intentionally look for like minded individuals who are involved in legal, ethical, engaging behavior. Join a club. Find some cyclists or walkers. If you are aimless or wandering around disconnected, you might wander into something not good. Get busy doing something that makes you feel great.
Other ways to connect are to volunteer or get another job. Join that club or group and give yourself somewhere to belong. Start a hangout evening where you reconnect with friends. Go fitness crazy or take a class. Learn to do something you have always wanted to do.
Avoid your personal pitfalls, addiction triggering locations, and people who bring out your worst. You know who they are.
When you have somewhere to belong, you will contribute. When you have something healthy to do, you will feel better overall.
Friends, a healthy purpose, and a sense of place in the world makes better people. In turn, our healthy interactions spread good things like ripples in a pond.