Dear Readers,

Skating on a warm winter day!

When I was about 4 years old, we had moved to a new house in a new city. There was a girl my age in the house behind us. My mom told me to go over and ask her to play with me.
I remember clearly, what I did. I went to the edge of our connecting backyards, and stood there, staring. 
Never went further, just stood and stared. 
In my life I have often waited to be asked to join, many times holding myself back, and then wondering why I didn’t get asked.

I recently read Brené Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. There are many insights in this book and I was instantly in love with it. Brené speaks not only to our individual selves, but also to the collective society at large, especially in learning how to be brave but civil. 

One of the many quotes that stood out to me, was the following:

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” 

I have led much of my life from all I lacked, including friends and a place to belong. I had resentments against friends who got to travel more than I did. Resentments against people with better houses, more money. Resentments against people with many friends. 

After a BIG snowstorm!

I was a good teacher, but always wished I was better. 
I complained too much to Mr. UT about all the things we didn’t do.
Anger at my body all the time, for all the problems I had, the operations, my bad eye, my hearing loss, and unable to have children.

I suffered from the “missing tile” syndrome. I often saw the only tile missing on the wall. 
In truth, I have always belonged.
I have always had good doctors to help me.
I have the most rock solid husband a person could have.
I have always had some good friends.
I have had some wonderful experiences traveling in life.
I have a good house, one that hubs and I have made our home!
I have a family who loves me dearly!

By stopping drinking and starting to look at all I have, by connecting with other people in recovery, have I been able to slowly change this way of thinking. And I am changing! It’s amazing really, that even in a short amount of time, I am shedding those insecurity thoughts and feelings I have had for so long. 

It takes work, though. I have to be aware of my thoughts when they slip to the poor me, the negative.
When I really get honest, I can see it’s me, myself and I, who is responsible for my happiness or unhappiness. 

So I choose to be happy today. I see all that I love in my life! 
This doesn’t mean I am not crabby, or that hubs and I don’t argue, or that I feel healthy each day.
It means I know deeper, that I am ok, that life is life, and I am thankful.

If I could talk to my little Wendy self, I would take her hand, knock on the door, and ask the little girl to come out and play.

With a Brave Hand,
On Day 1243,

PS – We call our outings “adventures”! Even little ones! We went zip lining across the Mississippi River! It was a very fun adventure!! Proof that you can have fun in recovery! 

We went across at night! 

24 thoughts on “Belonging

  1. Terrific post – I relate so much to your younger self. I used to avoid engaging with others – I still do in many ways if I'm honest. But, getting up and doing, engaging and being is the better route if only I could make it my default. I love how you continue every day, every post to note how many days it is. Brilliant!


  2. Zip lining is something I've always wanted to try! Thank you, now I'm making that a goal this year. This post is so profound, heartfelt and full of truth As is all your writing, Wendy. You always speak to me my friend. ❤


  3. Zip lining! You are way braver than me!I relate to your desire for acknowledgement. For someone else to show me my worth.Brene’s Book spoke to me too. I have to have my own joy and peace. I will never believe it from elsewhere anyway.Why can we always believe the bad, but not the good?The mind is a funny thing. But we see the truth! Hugs and love to you. I love your beautiful optimism.Anne


  4. Great post Wendy and delighted to hear you can see the changes in yourself but also relate back to the little girl in you that wants to fit in. I have not heard of this Brene Brown book so will look it up.


  5. Wow, this sounds like a book I need to read. Thanks for the recommendation and for sharing this lovely positive post. Hugs xx


  6. So much beauty in your life now, you've worked hard to get here and it shows in how you express your thoughts and feelings. I just loved the post. And I'm going to read that book! xoxo


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