The most powerful thing for healing, in my experience, is being seen. In a single moment of truly being seen, where every crevice of your life is accepted, your heart begins to mend instantaneously. It is in those moments, for me, that hope, compassion, and faith are all born and refreshed. Perhaps, it's because I am not truly seen very often that they have such an effect on me, but the effect is incomparable to anything else. No other form of support can outweigh the love found in belonging.
Belonging is being accepted for EVERYTHING that you are. And I mean everything. In a true place of belonging you can say anything, and you will not be shamed or harmed in any way because of it. You can share every piece of yourself, and it'll be alright. You will still be loved, and you know this.
Despite all my work, I still struggle to find places where I truly feel like I belong. It's more common with strangers, and individuals outside of my normal circles. As soon as my circles interlap, something changes, and I lose that safe space. But, this has more to do with my past traumas and needing some additional healing to feel that I can Belong. Sometimes I am weighed down by expectations that others might have, or things I perceive they will not accept. Some of it is on them, but some comes back to me not willing to be 100% honest. This is because of the trauma I carry from being vulnerable to unworthy individuals. But I relish the moments I get to belong, and I am truly seen.
Without these moments, I would not be here today. That is a reality. I have written about it before, but never truly addressing the root cause of why those moments helped so much. And the reason is Belonging. I was able to belong in those brief moments, and I used that love and compassion to come back from the worst of places.
But belonging is not a priority in our society. We are constantly asked to conform: in our homes, our schools, our jobs, everywhere. But that doesn't have to be the case. We can belong. But we must acknowledge the need to belong. We need to acknowledge that belonging is a basic human right that every single one of us deserves, and can have. Belonging is a priority, just like love is. Isn't it about time we've built places where we can belong?
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter, instagram or facebook.