How do we know where we belong?

I was wondering with the beginning of my eleventh year writing my “From the Heart” byline, what could I offer in lifeskills for today that I haven’t already over the years. I even thought about retiring my byline as much as I love writing and sharing with you, my reader friends.

As I was sitting in front of my computer staring at a blank page, that’s when a friend sent me a text message that reflected her deep desire to find her place in life and to contribute to others in a purposeful and fulfilling way for both. Basically, where do I belong? And how do I get there?

What simple but profound questions for us all! Possibly one of the most important questions to help ourselves is “What is most important to me?” When we declare what is most important, we will be on the path to recommitting to our core values and building relationships that support our values. Yet, for most of us, we get so busy with daily responsibilities and circumstances that happen right in front of us. We eventually lose sight of what is most important to us. We often assume we don’t have control over our circumstances. With some situations, not having control may be the case. However, we are always in control of our responses to those circumstances. Once we refocus on what is most important, we begin to make steps toward getting where we belong. So, let’s revisit this place where you belong.

What is most important to you? Be specific. Declare it right now. Write it down. Tell a family member or close trusted friend. Have a conversation about how what is most important to you is reflected in what you do every day. If you find yourself getting internal hints that you may not be in a place you belong, maybe it’s time to dig deeper? Keep in mind, life comes in seasons.

As Henry Cloud, well known clinical psychologist, author and speaker, is quoted saying, “Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.”

There will be seasons where you belong exactly where you are. Then another season says hello and is hinting you may need to consider some changes. Only you will know how much to prune in your life in order to move into that next season where you belong.

Moving into our next season always involves not just our core values but our relationships. What about the people who surrounds you each day? How do those people support your values and any changes you want to make? Write down the names of those who you know for sure will fit where you belong now or in your next season. You may want to have a conversation with that person you believe fits or will fit. Whatever happens in that conversation, you just may find out if that person is a real fit not only for you but also for them.

Such conversations are always an unknown but can be a positive, constructive means to discover more about where you are and where you want to head. Your partner in the conversation will undoubtedly gain some insight into their own journey and seasons. You both will then be able to help each other find where you both belong, whether you say goodbye or renew your hellos. And having a prayer conversation with God never hurts. Keep me posted on your adventure settling in where you belong in 2016.

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