As humans, we are wired to belong … to seek those places where we fit. We do this in our families, in our work, in our in-person and online communities.
In one of my last posts, I shared about reclaiming part of myself in Ireland -- my 21-year-old self who came home early from her trip to Ireland because she was lonely and overwhelmed.
During this trip, however, I felt a deep sense of belonging.
My family and I visited Kilrush, Co. Clare in Ireland, the town where my grandfather was born and raised. My dad wanted to see the homehouse, a slang term for the home of one's parents. As we walked through town, I felt that I belonged there. Later that night, we hosted a dinner with my dad’s first cousins and their families, none of whom I'd met. As we came together, I looked deeply into their faces. And you know what? I saw myself in them. I saw myself as if I was looking in the mirror. Again, I felt that deep sense of belonging.
On this trip, I also visited several neolithic sites in Ireland: Newgrange, Loughcrew, and the Poulnabrone dolmen. These sites predate the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge ... to about 4000-5000 B.C. Below is a photo of the front rock of the Newgrange site. Look at those spirals carved into the rock! Besides a guess that some of them were passage tombs, very little else is known.
Since I was a teenager, I've been wondering about why we are here on Earth and what we're doing. While at these prehistoric sites ... with this sense of belonging, I wondered if the people who built these sites are my ancestors too. I wondered if -- in a past lifetime -- I was one of the souls who carved into the stone like the one above at Newgrange.
To activate your own wondering and sense of belonging, I give you the journal and/or thinking prompts below. If this calls to you, take some time to dive in and notice what you feel in your heart and in your body.
- Where do you belong?
- Have you looked at other people and seen yourself mirrored back to you?
- Is there a place or are there places that gives you a deep sense of belonging?
- What's that like in your heart and in your body?
I'd love to hear what comes up for you.