Since the beginning of time mankind has been in relationship with one another. So much so, that even God realized we would need to form social bonds, thus the creation of humankind. The world may have started as one, but it didn’t stay that way for long! Over thousands of years and generations we have grown to a population of over 7 billion people worldwide! There are many aspects of our lives that tie all of us together in our humanity. At the top of the list? Our mutual and undeniable need to belong.
For decades, researchers have produced thousands of articles around this subject. Many argue that the need to belong is a fundamental human need to form and maintain at least a minimum amount of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships. Healthy relationships can reduce stress, have been linked to overall improved health, and have even shown that people with healthy social relationships have a 50 percent greater likelihood of survival! So we can all agree that we are happier, healthier, and better versions of ourselves when we have strong relationships.
Drum roll please. Enter a truth bomb that has taken me many years to figure out…
Relationships are HARD! They take work. They can be challenging, time consuming and require commitment. Relationships will also change. Friends that you’ve had since childhood may not last into adulthood. People who you once considered your best friend, may soon become strangers you solely see on the internet. At the end of the day we all need community, but how do we find it and once we do, how do we maintain it?
In my experience the only way to find your tribe, to find your people, is first to find yourself. This my sweet friend is also not an easy task. Let me reassure you, there will be no better relationship to devote yourself to, than one with yourself. Take the time, the uninterrupted, solely devoted, utterly consuming time to discover who you are, what you stand for and where you’re going. Give your inner goddess room to explore and grow. Read books, travel to new places, experience entertainment, have conversations that stretch you beyond yourself. Most importantly, never apologize for being fully and ultimately YOU!
Once you are on that road to discovering who you are there will be no short supply along the way of people who are right there with you figuring it all out. One of the best pieces of advice around relationships came from my sister. She told me people will come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you’ll know what to do. If we open ourselves up to the purpose behind our relationships beyond their momentary convenience, we discover not only the value in what other people bring to our journey but what we can bring to them!
Value in relationships is derived from the authenticity of what we bring others. When in the market for friends, no one is looking for a knock-off. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with those around you and show them the real, messy, beautiful, ridiculous things that make you YOU! No one better explains the value of vulnerability and authenticity than author and speaker Brene Brown.
She states, “Authenticity is a daily practice. Choosing authenticity means: cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle and connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.”
So when you’re in that soul searching struggle and journey to discovering you, here is the really good news darling. We’re here. Your tribe is right here waiting with open arms. If you’re reading this then you’ve been led here with purpose. We want to know you and embrace you. We have a divine purpose to create sisterhood among one another. Relationships started in the beginning of the world and my guess is our need to belong will last well beyond any of our years! So reach out, connect with us, come to an event, send that message! Bring your bold beautiful self and let’s discover together what we all need- each other.
Natalie is a pediatric cardiology nurse who sees life in all of its glorious highs and lows. Serving her patients and God rank at the top of her priorities. The reality of life’s fragility inspires her to live to the absolute fullest! She enjoys traveling, hiking, live music and spending time with her pup Gus. Food is her main love language. She makes sure that anyone who meets her walks away with a smile and a big hug.
*Photo by Christy Shaterian Photography