What is the Difference Between Fitting In and Belonging?
Who are you?
I spent years disciplining my personality away.
Yes, self-denial in the face of temptation that shifts us from God’s plan is beneficial. Disclipling ourselves to avoid sinful actions and attitudes will help us from taking our lives down a path of brokenness. Sacrifice can be honorable; Abraham and Isaac come to mind.
But I sacrificed my truest self at what I thought was the altar of obedience only to find that I was being manipulated and moved by guilt to fit into other people’s mold for me. I was motivated to fit in. When in Rome…
Fitting in is not the same as belonging. Fitting in does not bring peace or comfort.
‘Fitting in’ moves me to be a chameleon. It leads me down a road of plastic smiles and insecurity. To fit in I must be who you want me to be. I need to dress to please you. I must use your verbiage and I will laugh at all your jokes. If I’m going to fit in, I will need your approval. It compels me to wear a heavy backpack filled with perfectionism that keeps me from the letting the lifter of my head lead my life. I end up down a path that is shallow, empty and fruitless.
Belonging though, is freedom. It does not require me to meet your expectations, belonging only demands that I show up. I belong when I decide to be seen for who God created me to be. No longer longing for you to turn your head my way so that I can impress you, instead my hope is that in seeing me, you will see Him. When I belong, my heart is set on His approval, not yours.
I hope you let yourself be seen, even if you don’t fit the mold others have poured for you.
I’d love to hear about a time that you forfeited your own passions and plans to get the approval of someone else, and what you learned in the process. Let’s talk about it, leave me a comment.