Over the last few months I have been dappling with this need or feeling of belonging that seems to elude me at most times. Belonging for me or the lack of it is synonymous to feeling lonely in a room full of people. A room full of people with whom I don’t share ideals, values or beliefs. It can even be a room of family or friends.

My latest mini-pilgrimage this last week, has forced me to come face to face with this challenge head-on! Do I identify with my roots, my culture, my religion? Can I feel like I belong joining in the rituals that millions are performing together alongside me in synchronicity? How can I feel alone in the presence of all this physical ‘oneness’? Where do I belong?

It is this burning question (burning being quite apt considering my solar plexus was physically flaring up while I was exploring this) that brought me to the realization 5 days into my journey – that I do belong! Exactly as I am! I belong with ME and with MY creator who smiles down on me (letting me know that I am enough), and who I carry with me on all lands of the earth!

A sense of belonging and reconciliation came to me as a knew that I belong to myself! The ‘i’ being the one who is most authentically me – no pretenses, no faking, no judging, no being hard on myself – just the ‘i’ who unashamedly belly laughs, doesn’t like crowds, dunks cookies in tea and crumbs the bed. That ‘I’ belongs everywhere and belongs nowhere as long as that ‘I’ belongs safely with me.

It is of no surprise to me that once I made peace with this belonging to me that my tummy burn subsided and I was overcome by peace, love and contentment with who I am – and this in turn (irrespective of who was around me), led to a strong feeling of belonging in the sacred lands.

As Murphy’s law would have it – 2 days later – on the second leg of my pilgrimage I tuck into the latest book from Brene Brown (I love her work) that I downloaded and lo an behold! the title is ‘Braving the wilderness: the quest for true belonging’. Co-incidence? Never! Divine Synchronicity – that’s what I call it.

Halfway through the book what sticks out is when Brene says ‘True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to Be who we are.’

Brene quotes Maya Angelou in this book – from an interview in 1973 saying ‘You are only free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all.’ Maya then continues to say ‘The price is high. The reward is great.’ ……. I think my self doubt manifesting in my fiery solar plexus the first few days of my Pilgrimage, was just part of that high price I’m learning to pay…… this peace and self love that’s within my heart right now can only be part of that reward Maya eludes to.

I belong with me……