We have a basic instinct to belong. The late William Glasser, an American psychiatrist, once said, “We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.” When we have a sense of belonging, we are at peace with all that matters. Whether we belong to a family unit, a sorority, a fraternity, a church congregation, a circle of friends, a workforce…our lives are impacted in a positive way. These units give us strength; they help to address a fundamental need to give and receive love, to feel appreciated and accepted – the basic fibers of our essence. So, if/when we are faced with a diatribe, we can rely on our support systems to provide a coping mechanism.
During this holy season, the best of who we are is manifested in our deeds. For example, this morning my family and I attended an orientation session at a church we recently joined. When we moved to the area and started worshipping with the congregation, we knew almost immediately that we wanted to be a part of this body of believers. We wanted to belong. Being new to the community and wanting to worship closer to home, we saw uniting with this church family as a way forward for us. Sometimes we are faced with having to make decisions that could change the way we live; perhaps a need to placate our souls to a higher calling.
For our family, every day is a celebration. Today we celebrated our connection to a new church family. Tomorrow we celebrate my husband’s birthday. Next week we’ll celebrate with our son…whatever he puts on the family agenda. Later, we’ll simply celebrate life and all the things that are important to us – especially at Christmas. We want to always keep that feeling of belonging.