Belongingness

We all wish to belong to someone and want someone to belong to us. Belonging fills us with deep contentment mainly because it helps in exploring who we are. The more people belong to us, the richer we feel. Likewise, to belong to someone we love and trust makes us feel protected and at ease. Truly, belongingness is vital to human growth. Unfortunately, it is rarely available.
             How many of us ever see such a simple truth that unless we belong to ourselves we cannot belong to anyone else. Belongingness is a bond, a connectivity of a very profound nature. It has to do little with thoughts and emotions. Of course, thoughts and emotions can bring people together but cannot keep them together for long because they keep changing. Two like-minded/like-hearted persons can hit it off well, but they soon fall out with each other, or they simply drift away. No matter how hard they try to stay together, there is no real substance left.
             Where does this substance come from? It comes from one’s understanding of one’s own nature, one’s familiarity with one’s own being. In fact, most of us are strangers to ourselves. Hardly do we have a single opinion about who we are. This is why ‘public opinion’ bothers us so much. Such an ordinary thing as a piece of garment is not worth it until it scores one a dozen compliments. Everybody is fishing for compliments, because they are never sure of themselves.
             Few contemplate their lives; others are too busy for self-assessment. They don’t have even 15 minutes per day to spend with themselves, to see where they are and in which direction they are moving, whether their actions are going to bring any long lasting fulfilment. Chatting, gossiping, partying are more fruitful to them. ‘Who am I?’ is often laughed off by them as a philosophical joke. ‘Life’s a party,’ they shout. I have seen hundreds of such party freaks ending up in misery and frustration. One of the reasons for their misery is that all their partying has given them merely a shallow pleasure leaving them empty inside. And who are they going to belong to with this empty self? Think about it for a moment: how can we know anyone without first knowing ourselves? How can we understand anyone without first understanding ourselves? And without this self-knowledge and self-understanding, how can we belong to anyone?
             Belongingness is one of the most basic and essential human needs. It is a sweet togetherness, a soothing comfort. It should be tended with great care and sensitivity. However, it is rare to find someone who belongs to you and who you feel like belonging to. Once such a bond of belongingness with someone is built, it should be strengthened with awareness and attention. And to be aware is to know who we are so that we can know who the other is.

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