God-Image Element 4: BELONGING
Linking "love" with "belonging" builds significance and security in your life.
Truth 4 - ♡ Love thrives in us when nurtured by BELONGING.
Goal 4 - ○ Be connected & protected by BELONGING.
LIE 4 - ♡ You can never truly BELONG and be loved.
APPLYING Love-Link®Image Element 4 – Loving your BELONGING
- Strategy: Recognize the “power of belonging”.
- Acknowledge where you belong: It can be said that our need for belonging is stronger than any other need - even life itself. Being alone, rejected, and/or being unloved is a common fear and powerful motivator. ln contrast, belonging is a critical part of knowing that we are loved. The good news is that everyone belongs somewhere, regardless of how healthy that group or environment is, and everyone can find healthy places to belong if they desire.
- Seek healthy belonging: It Since belonging skills are established in early life, our natural family (or where and by whom we are raised), belonging is a foundational part of knowing who we really are, and our formation of self-worth.
- Make “Belonging” Choices: Be aware of your surroundings. Be intentional in your selection about where you belong. Develop strong relationships with groups or settings that offer healthy and protective opportunities. The question is never "if" you belong, but rather do you belong in ways that meet your needs to "be connected and protected". Take control of your belonging as much as possible.
- Commitment: Learn to "Love your Belonging"
- Be open to new ideas on how to belong: Some are blessed with great settings where they find healthy belonging. Others do not have this reality. Consider expanding your role(s) and involvement in your current groups or settings. Consider finding new groups that support your values and accept you for who you are. Even in bad situations, there is always some good (no matter how small) that can be found. Find the good!
- Take a holistic approach to your belonging. Belonging impacts our mental, social, physical, and spiritual lives. Find which groups help you with all four areas of your lives. If one of these areas lacks a sense of belonging, find a group or setting that helps fulfill your belonging needs in this area.
- Create your own learning projects. List the groups or settings where you belong. Check the ones that support you (in good and bad times), and where you find protection. Engage in these to a greater degree. Consider limiting your time in the unchecked groups or settings, or even ending your involvement when possible. Be creative, and monitor your social media contexts to keep them healthy as well.
- Get Started: Improving your belonging skill is best done when you have the freedom to improve or even change the groups or settings where you currently find yourself. When neither of these options are readily available, you can still find ways to see your value in any group if you reject the belonging lies and work on believing the truth about your belonging.
- Be proactive. When you belong to an unhealthy group, leave when you can, and as soon as possible. Or, if that is not possible, balance it with a group or family where belonging is healthy. Download the Action Guide below. Complete the BELONGING Study.
- Reach out. Reach out to belong "first". Be the initiator. Many have found that they actually "start" the group or family where their belonging flourishes, and they can be connected and protected.