"The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. Cut off from others we atrophy and turn in on ourselves. No one was created for isolation. When we become isolated we are prone to being damaged; our minds lose their flexibility and natural kindness; we become vulnerable to fear and negativity. The sense of belonging keeps you in balance amidst the inner and outer immensities. The ancient and eternal values of human life..truth, unity, goodness, justice, beauty, and love are all statements of true belonging and they are also the secret intention and dream of human longing."
John O'Donohue ...from Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections On Our Yearning To Belong
I love this quote and most everything I've ever read from John O'Donohue because of the way he cuts through all of our pretense, our hiding and fear of being cast out and takes a seat directly in our hearts.. For so many of us who have known loss of loved ones at an early age, who have not had the experience of sufficient nurturing, whose lives have been torn apart by war and violence, poverty and neglect the "hunger to belong" can be very frightening. It can touch places in us where we feel unworthy and steeped in shame. Better, we think to stay away from that longing and protect ourselves by pretending not to care, by keeping people at a distance and living casually on the surface of our dreams. We therapists have diagnostic codes for this, we speak of adjustment and attachments disorders and have all manner of medications to numb the discomfort but that only alienates us further from our authentic self. There really is no path toward love and connectedness that doesn't take us through the pain...
deb: Got me.
Suzanne: Me too, Deb..probably the hardest lesson for all of us to learn....
deb: Well, the balance, the flow, the seasons of life. All those years, my 4 kids being born in perfect beats over a period of 14 years, when I never had a moment alone. I remember Phoebe sending me A Room of One's Own, very to the point. And then the long period of illness when I was pretty much isolated even from my body. And then gathered here in this beautiful place to write... and finding that I had to remember and find my body again. Learn to live in it. Now we're moving to a place of people and bustle, and I suppose I will have to take it about on the streets. I find being around people so draining because -- I'm so emptied and so filled. You know? Introvert. The smallest thing I take home and take apart... Time to bring things together.
We connected right off, didn't we? Long ago. Didn't even need to meet in the flesh, though when we did, it was just the same us. Heart connection. And we know when we're in the heart, there is no distance between us.