How do you decide between these two concepts? The need to belong and the need to grow both pull at us. Where is the line?
For me, I struggle with how much time I give to my job (middle school math/science teacher), my hobbies (ice hockey, triathlete, USTA tennis, cycling, guitar playing, movies, etc) and my personal life (friends, family and other relationships). Where is the line among all of this that allows me to feel fulfilled in belonging and growth?
There are several instances in my life where I feel completely fine with belonging. I love belonging to my family, a fun group of guys and gals on a hockey or tennis team, and belong to an amazing preparatory school for middle grades students. The hard part for me is to discern whether or not those areas of my life are providing me an environment to grow or not.
“The truth of freedom carries the price of guilt.” That line really stood out with me during my reading and during our time of meditation. In an earlier post, we looked at being nice versus being real. Satya is no joke. Being truthful with yourself and with those around you is extremely difficult because its filled with guilt. I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings at my own expense. That may be a character flaw, but it is the logic that I tend to go with. But there is “freedom” through a choice to grow over belong. I still continue to think deeper on this subject. What are your thoughts?
The Need to Belong vs. the Need to Grow
Mantra – I accept that truth rarely asks the easier choice.
As long as we stay within the approval of the group, we experience the innocence of belonging. However, we begin to grow in directions beyond the group, we experience guilt in regards to the group. The truth of our freedom carries the price of guilt.
All these groups have rules and belief systems, some written, some silently understood, that must be followed for us to be part of the group. These rules and belief systems are necessary, they are what shape the group and give the group its identity. As long as these rules don’t conflict with our inner longing to grow more and more into our full self, there is no problem. However, when a conflict arises between the need to belong and the need to grow, we have to make a choice. We must either sacrifice a part of ourselves to maintain our belonging, or we must risk the approval and support of the group by growing.
I often hear people say, “I just don’t know what to do.” I think more often than not, we do know what to do; the cost of our realness just seems too high at the time.
Truth rarely seems to ask the easier choice of us.
Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele