archives, wisdom

Fitting In Is Not the Same as Belonging.


True belonging often requires us to first stand alone.

Being willing to stand alone is risky business for our nervous system because it does not yet know the difference between efforts made by well-curated social masks to fit in and the conditional love we receive with the feeling of relaxing into true belonging and the grace of love that is happy to reside in all the corners of light and darkness.

Fitting in is based in fear.

Belonging is based in love.

Standing alone with a desire for true belonging requires a different kind of task — a hero(ine)’s journey that at the heart will show us what we are truly made of as we confront the aspects of ourselves that we do not love, that does not trust, that we put conditions on for ourselves, that we want to turn away from… the parts of ourselves we neglect, abuse or otherwise try to cast aside.

To stand alone and belong to ourselves, we must confront the parts of ourselves we do not belong to.

It is walking the road that becomes paved with courage, to move through fear with an open heart.

This is where true love for ourselves is born.

We learn how to love ourselves through our early relationships. We sort through what is lovable and what is not, who we need to mold ourselves into in order to be perceived as worthy of love, even if it comes at the expense of casting off parts of ourselves.

We are socialized to fit in because we are wired for belonging, but we have created a world in which very few of us feel like we really belong.

It’s easy to cultivate a persona of one who loves themselves, to move and act as one would do if they loved themselves, but this is an imitation of love that we have learned and it only lends to basically fitting in with ourselves rather than relaxing into something that is deeper, available within the depths of our bones, that most of us are yearning for.

Grace. Belonging. Acceptance. Attunement. Compassion. Kindness. Understanding.

We are trained to turn away from our soul-wounds, to build our egos and personalities around protecting ourselves from our own pain.

It is our soul-wounds that we must be willing to stand with, to find ways to learn the ways of love in these places that never received love, to find the courage to pave our inner roads with in order to land in a place of belonging, where our own skin feels good, regardless of circumstances and ebbs and flows life lives and breathes through us.

Our culture is a culture that is breeding a world of fitting into boxes and bodies and cubicles and spaces we as humans were not designed to. There is a great change upon us because even the earth is reacting with violent rage that we would betray our own belonging.

I want a world we all belong in. It is where true love and all that is good can be born with grace and nurtured, valued and honored as one does after arriving home from a long dark night of the soul.


Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a shamanic healer, grief midwife, writer, teacher and soul-whisperer. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from CIIS in addition to spending over 15 years studying and practicing Buddhism, Yoga, meditation, shamanic journey, ritual, energy healing and personal growth. She envisions a world where we feel comfortable in our own skins and are happy about being a human. A world where everyone loves and values themselves as a part of the whole, where self-loathing is an oddity rather than the usual, and the soul’s truth is valued as a gift from the Divine in service of our highest good. Shedding light on the truth of the soul’s story liberates the sacred within to feel comfortable in your own skin. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website.


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