Leisure Short Stories

A Journey to Belonging

When I saw the yellow I stopped the car. Fortunately, there was no traffic so I had a talk with Buddy. ( yes I talk to plants) “Hey, Buddy! I love your beautiful yellow. You may not be surrounded by your own kind but you belong there. You sure do brighten up the dull surroundings.”

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I went on my way wondering what sort of brightness I bring into the world. What do you do to achieve belonging if you’ve spent your life trying to fit in and not succeeding? I didn’t fit in at home growing up, in school, in church, as a wife, mother, friend, mental health system, any recovery programs…most likely any place you can think of. A well-established lifestyle of anger and blame was the result.

Dick Raymond suggests “Before moving on you need to clear away cherished beliefs.”  One of my cherished experiences has been the power I’ve felt when becoming angry. People didn’t want to be around me. Since they all left, eventually my anger gave me the choice about when they left.

Another belief was why try. I always failed at most things anyway. I never seemed to find people who appreciated me—who would stay no matter what.

I am limited in my ability to recall. My long-term memory has been affected by ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). So to continue with cherished beliefs is difficult. It is in the looking back from a new perspective that I am able to see how shame controlled my life.

At some point I was introduced to Dr. Brene Brown’s research. My life began to make sense.

Please return for the next part of my journey as I share how I found my “belonging everywhere and nowhere.”— Maya Angelou