A Need to Belong

In the wake of everything that is happening it’s difficult to maintain a positive outlook. I try by finding it in the tiny moments of my life; in little pleasures like video games, TV, or books. It’s like mental balm for my aching brain and heart. However, of these things nothing soothes and cures more than companionship.

When I say that I don’t exclusively refer to romantic relationships, although it is obviously included. I mean that I reach out for another through intimate moments (conversation or physical contact.) I truly believe humanity, by nature, are social creatures (even the introverts.) I think that’s why things like social media take off because it widens the net in which we can find camaraderie. The thing that hinders this human need is the idea of “tribes” or someone not belonging because they don’t match the criteria we’ve been taught needs to be “met” to “belong.” (And we all want to fucking belong.)

I hate how fiercely tribal we are, and I am NO exception. Such instinct was was born out of necessity for survival in our ancestral days dating back to primates. However, then it was from predators, not from our own species, although that does play a factor too. (More so now I’m afraid.) As we grow as a society and learn more on “what it is to be human” there are those who refuse to learn and grow, because it’s either exhausting or they can’t wrap their brains around it. And it is true, that at times, it can be overwhelming. But we must lean into the pain if we are to move beyond; and some just flat-out refuse.

I truly believe if society rid itself of “teams” we would all try and help each other. (Insert eye-roll here.) But that will never happen. Even if we stripped away current concepts of belonging we would boil it down to another, because it takes energy to welcome new people and trust implicitly. We want to be able to look at someone and know immediately that “I don’t need to fear, they’re ‘x’.” And that is fighting millennia of evolutionary learning and survival. Which, frankly, fucking sucks.

My ideas are sometimes too utopian. I guess I just want to believe. Unfortunately, it would require everyone to 1) admit fault, wrong-doing or failures and 2) be open to learning. Only then can we move forward as a society.

Until that revolutionary day, I will seek out the comfort and embrace of my “tribe,” because in their presence is where I don’t have to fear and I immediately know that I am safe. And in this time of unrest, it is the best medicine.

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