Key Thought for this session:

“The outcome of my life fits my priorities.”

Alright, ...so, we have one last dimension of satisfaction to discuss. While esteem is the desire of the soul to feel special, we also have a desire to belong.

Studies show that there is a tension in each of us between how our esteem wants us to stand out from the crowd and be recognized as someone special, uniquely important, and at the same time be accepted into a group that makes us feel a part of something bigger than our self. The difference between column 1 belonging and column 2 belonging is based on how you view what it means to ‘fit’ in with the group. You would choose Column 1 if your sense of belonging focuses more on YOUR role in the group, the unique part you play in the group’s story, and how you cooperate with others in the functioning of the group. Your view is that everyone is, and desires to be, different from everyone else in some way; you fit in because you bring to the group a piece of the puzzle others do not. You are more than just a member of the group--you play a valued and unique part, like an arm or a leg, in the functioning of the whole body. No part is more or less important, just different in the role it plays in the overall actions of the body. In this case being accepted as a part of the body (or the group) is when you and the others recognize that you have a specific and valued role within the group. On the other hand, if you choose column 2, then you see yourself as a member of the group. ‘Fitting in’ is being as much like the other members as you can, you blend in well, you don’t want to look or act any differently from the others. Your focus is more on being like the others in the group and less on playing a unique part in the group’s story. Being accepted as a member of the group is how well your behavior reflects on and honors the group. Take a moment and see which view of belonging best represents your view. And then think about how much you feel accepted as a part of the group or groups in which you belong. While you are part of several groups like family, community, and workplace, your sense of belonging may put a priority on one of these or just a general sense of how you feel across all groups to which you belong.