I sat on my patio watching the clouds roll across an amber sunrise as the birds sang their morning revelry. A peaceful moment as the thought came to mind, "I belong here." I belong.
It was my birthday and I was reflecting, as I do every year, filing through recent thoughts on what I've learned over the last year. A question popped up.
What's profound at this juncture in life?
Shedding skin? Endings? New chapters? Initiations? Quiet moments? Surprising disruptions? Sure, all those things. But, there was something more.
I pondered this as I gazed back at the horizon behind my house. The sky was active, the clouds in steady movement. I thought about how life rolls like clouds, moving in constant flow, sometimes stormy and tumultuous, sometimes clear and transparent, light, and fluffy. The air was still, spacious. My eye caught the resident bunny in his routine, back and forth, back and forth across my backyard. He was in his element, nothing profound, simply in the midst of his day. He belonged.
That's when it hit me. The simple truth is life happens in the middle, in the midst of things. In between the aha's, the grand gestures and profound moments.
Life happens in the in-between, in the liminal space. Liminal spaces are the in-between: the moments to and from, before and after decisions and choices, during transitions, and in between the milestones.
Liminally, I belong. Liminally, we all belong because it's not about filling the spaces or looking for the thing outside of us to belong or feel satisfied. It's about being and living in the midst of our lives and belonging within ourselves.
To belong is a lifelong pursuit and a deep human desire: to matter, to have meaning. And, it's a journey where many of us feel a sense of lack, the wanting to belong but not quite getting there because often we're looking outside of ourselves for validation or acceptance.
But, what I'm realizing as my age continues to ripen, belonging is really about being in your own space. Being content within yourself and the liminal in-betweens of life. When you do, it doesn't matter who you're with or what's happening around you. You belong. So, when you're in a situation or with people where it doesn't feel like a fit, that's all it is. It's not that you don't belong, it's just not a fit.
You always belong in your space and in your in-betweens. How sweet it is to realize it, to own it, and to live it.