We all need to belong. A place where we are greeted. We are cared about. Loved especially in times of turmoil. The warm glow in the hearts of our crew. To sit and listen and be together. A meeting point to console if sad. 


Belonging and feeling apart

Some hypothetical examples of belonging/feeling apart: 

In childhood when at school one of the first cases of belonging is tested. When looking around the classroom it seems that everyone in their groups has some kind of instruction manual that I am without. Like I am a spare part in a train set. Head to desk drifting off into a fantasy world as the teacher bellows, “Sit up young man.”

Then there are the cool kids puffing by the bike sheds - they are a friendly bunch (destined for addiction) a welcome to this world and yes, I feel right at home with this lot! Moving from group to group in mid-teens, creating chains of events that include some cell bars from time to time. Consequences that test loyalty to the max. 

Then work in the office, with coffee breaks, but not with the office bods as they seem too unfamiliar with jokes that are a bit too crude. Isolated in the pub at lunch, downing a similar amount to a weekend blow-out. 

Similar to social destruction is isolation, where retreating to somewhere comforting, like the family home. Fear sets in and it feels harder and harder to break the ice with anyone. A journey inward a month… to six months... to a year...

There’s nothing worse in this world than feeling like you don’t belong. It’s so painful - that feeling - that it takes lives. No way out comes from a painful thought that I’m not worthy and shouldn’t be here. It’s so dark that it’s blinding. No vision, no pathway. No light.

Helping and finding help

When you see someone in pain, help them feel that they truly belong. Be the acceptor when all they feel is the rejector. Bring some light and love to them. Go the extra mile.  Because you could, in fact, be the one who saves their life. Unity, if practised, is belonging in action. Be that person rather than the go-away person. Include not exclude. Invite not cast out. Most of all, make it happen. 

If you feel like you don’t belong and your mind is sluggish, reach out even if it feels daunting, as no one will notice unless you speak up. Mind reading is a myth. Once you make it known that you’re alone, it’s amazing how developments happen. Leading into adventure, then onto spells of wonder with the people you opened up to. Replace alone with swarms of people. Lots to do and see. A nudge in the right direction leads to a lot more ahead. Break the stalemate and walk into crowds; this time crowds of creative fellows. 

If the struggle to reach out doesn’t happen as you sought, then hold on to hope as not all doors shut, some are waiting to unlock and pass into. Beyond the current predicament, pathways appear to explore. If you reach two crossing routes,  trust your heart that the one you step forward into is the right direction for you. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16
Written by Warren Vinciguerra, BA (Hons) Registered MBACP
Guildford GU2 & Chertsey KT16

After decades of engaging in my own personal therapy and also practicing therapy as a therapist, I have gained wisdom and foresight in my counselling philosophy. The honour and privilege of working at some of the worlds leading private treatment centers has enabled me to grow into an effective therapist. Researching new therapy methods is my forte.

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