I was recently stuck in traffic driving up California's 405 to visit Mike in Ventura. As usual, it was bumper to bumper traffic. I was in for a long ride so I turned to the company of one of my favorite podcasts.

I opened up On Being hosted by Krista Tippett and selected the episode “Soft Front, Strong Backs, and Wild Hearts” featuring researcher Brené Brown.

As I listened to the two women drop poetic wisdom, I was so wrapped up in their words that I forgot about the traffic. One quote in particular captured my attention.

It was this quote from Brené's latest book:

“We are neuro-biologically hardwired for belonging and connection. We’re hardwired to want it, and need it so much, that the first thing we do is sacrifice ourselves and who we are to achieve it.”

I had to let that idea soak for a moment.

I asked myself: If our sense of belonging comes from being accepted for who we are, then would it really be “belonging” if we had to sacrifice a part of ourselves for it?

As I struggled with this question, I kept coming back to the interconnectedness between our need for belonging and our identity. That feeling of belonging is a validation of our existence — evidence that our lives have meaning, that we matter, and that one day, when we are no longer here, our presence will be missed.

In her book “Braving the Wilderness”, Brown resolves this with a definition for “true belonging” — a perfect summation of how we establish a lasting sense of self that supports rather than diminishes our sense of belonging:

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

Simply said, when you are true to yourself, you will realize you truly belong. A powerful thought.

Sending love from my wild heart to yours,

Dave Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

P.S. This podcast was just one of the links we featured in this month's Curated Resources for Kinship [Member Content]. Take a moment to explore the others as well as this month’s Kinship Guide [Member Content] before we start exploring March's theme of Wellness next month!

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