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How To Feel You Belong (& Why Fitting In Is The Enemy of Intimacy)

by Rebecca Schweiger |Nov 17| #brenebrown #reallove #courageouslife #belonging

How To Create a Life You Love

Rich. Poor. Black. White. Brown. Orthodox. Reform. Atheist. Straight. Gay. Bisexual. Trans. Successful. Failure. Making one’s way.

Actor Anthony Rapp so perfectly put it, “labels are for cans, not people.” Amen, Anthony.
Do you feel claustrophobic, stifled and trapped when assigned a label (or is it just me?)? Simply said, humans don’t belong in boxes nor cages.
As young children, you went from meeting a stranger at the playground to quickly holding hands, skipping with glee and sharing “I love you’s” in 5 minutes flat. And yet, no matter how openminded you were in younger years, you eventually learned to use labels to differentiate yourself from others.
Sigh. We begin life united, we grow to be divided. What stops us from genuinely connecting with strangers the way we did as children?
FEAR and conditioning (what people convinced us to believe about ourselves and others).


We all long for meaningful relationships where real belonging is the foundation.

And yet, by placing labels on ourselves and others, we merely “fit in”. In the words of leading expert (with science that backs it) on human connection and vulnerability, Brene Brown shares, “”We are connected to each other in a profound way and the thing that moves us away from that faster than anything else is fear. When we “fit in” as opposed to “belong,” we acclimate to the situation and hide valuable parts of ourselves, instead of standing for our authentic self.”
Her solution? Focus on what connects us and drop the fearful labels that force disconnection. While rational thinking may have you thinking that “sorting” leads to a greater feeling of belonging, Brown warns that these relationships are “counterfeit.”
“It’s not real connection. All it is – I call it ‘common enemy intimacy,’ the only thing we have in common is we reject the same people,” Brown said. “People who have the deepest sense of true belonging are people who also have the courage to stand alone when called to do that. They are willing to maintain their integrity and risk disconnection in order to stand up for what they believe in.”


Every single human being has their own one-of-a-kind depth, inner-world and personal truth.

Before you label someone or yourself, remember that any living, breathing, feeling heart doesn’t belong in a box or a can. You were born to express and fully live the truth of who you really are, and only from that place will you create the relationships and belonging you yearn for, starting with the most important relationship of all, that with yourself. 
Artwork by: Rebecca Schweiger, belonging with love to Elana Kilkenny