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Wanting to belong -Ep. 9

Are you curious about why "wanting to belong" can become an obstacle to living up to your potential or achieving your dreams? In this episode, we will delve into the topic of belonging. Do you ever feel like an outsider? Or do you often experience a sense of not belonging? The desire to belong is something that is very common and affects many individuals, including myself.

I will discuss the meaning of belonging and explore why some people struggle more with this longing for acceptance than others. Additionally, I will share various ways for coping with the feeling of not fitting in. Whether you personally experience this feeling or not, everyone can do something!

If you want, you can read the transcriptions of Episode 9 of Under The Baobab Tree here:

wanting to belong - belonging podcast

The need to belong

I am a human being, you are a human being. And one of our basic needs we have as human beings is to belong. We want to feel we are part of a group, that we are accepted in that group. And I found the official definition of belonging from Cambridge. And they say "belonging is a feeling of being happy, or comfortable as part of a particular group, and having a good relationship with other members of the group, because they welcome and accept you. :

The reason why I'm making this episode is because belonging is a topic I've struggled with and still struggle with, in my life sometimes. And I know many people feel this, and maybe some of you deal with this topic, too, knowingly or unknowingly. And if that's the case, may this episode bring you clarity may it be supportive, may it make you feel you belong. Ase.

So let's go back in time, where there is little Ama in the classroom, luckily, in a school with a lot of people with different ethnical backgrounds, but her best friends were white, coming home, watching TV, all the people on the television were white, no one was really looking like her, except Alida from the tree house, which was a program in Belgium for children presented by a Surinamese woman. And she meant more to me than she'll ever know. But then, for example, on Sundays, I went to the scouts, which is like a youth movement in Belgium. And also the majority of the people was white there. And even though I had amazing friends, amazing white friends, I had friends who looked like me. Still, I didn't really feel as if I belonged. So growing up, I got used to that feeling, feeling of feeling different, even though I had friends and family that I loved, and still love, and they also loved me. But still, I felt like an outsider.

And then fast forward. The first time, I would go to Africa, which was a travel to Togo, and I was looking forward to it, it was the first time I was going consciously as an adult, right. And I was like, "Oh, finally, I'm going to be with, with people who look like me, and who would accept me" and then I was there. And everyone was looking at me as a white lady. And that would continue to be the case going to Africa. And even now living in Ghana, that's how I'm approached often to, and I can't blame them as I wasn't born here. And I don't fully act the same and my skin color is lighter or I don't speak the language.

But still, for me, it's exhausting in a way that eternal search of belonging. That feeling inside of me wanting to have a group of people that are like me, or accept me or don't look first at how I look like. The closest I came to that feeling was in Brazil, the way people interacted with me was as if they saw me as a Brazilian woman, as their sister. And that was so nurturing for my soul. It was as if I was one of them. And at the same time, it was so strange that in a way, my outer features, the way how I look like we're so determining.

And I share this knowing that every one of us may have had these experiences, in one way or another feeling as an outsider, as if you don't belong, as if you're so different than everyone else. And if that's not you, it might be your brother, or a friend, or your mother. It's good to be aware of this because I've come across many people who felt they didn't belong. And my example now of myself is based on skin color, but it can be based on anything really on Yeah, bodily features, but also religion, your upbringing, interests, personalities, choices,...

And there are a few things I want to share that can help with this feeling of not belonging. Because it's important to mention here this is a feeling and even though outside factors like the family or society or environment you grow up in, or the way how people perceive you, or interact with you can enhance that feeling, or can bring it to the surface, not everyone will struggle with the feeling that they don't belong, even though they experienced similar situations.

So even though it can be very much an external thing, I believe it's very much an internal thing, too. Feeling like an outsider or feeling you don't belong, can be one of the expressions of a wound of being rejected, or abandoned as a child or in a previous experience. So let me repeat that here. Feeling like an outsider or feeling you don't belong, can be one of the expressions of a wound of being rejected, or abandoned as a child or in a previous experience. So it may be you've experienced rejection, or abandonment, something that was very hurtful to you. And you actually want to be loved and accepted. So any tiny or big experience now, that makes you feel you are not loved, or accepted, especially in a group can trigger that rejection, or abandonment wound, and therefore make you feel as if you don't belong, or are an outsider. Meanwhile, other people maybe even don't perceive you that way. So in case you struggle with the feeling of being an outsider, the weirdo or as if you don't belong, it might be interesting to check with yourself. "Where did I feel rejected in my life, or abandoned?" And that might be a place that needs some healing, or attention. And aside this, there are a few other things I want to share that might help.

So one thing is, for the ones who also feel they don't belong, like me in a way. And two is for everyone. So the first thing I want to share, for those who feel they don't belong, is actually simple. The power lies in accepting your differences, accepting that you are unique, and that it is okay to feel how you feel that it is okay to be who you are. Because you're already perfect how you are. And I know for myself, this longing also comes out of pain, like what I just shared, too, right? Like if you have rejection or abandonment wounds. So for me, it also comes out of a pain as if when I'm not belonging to a group, I'm not loved. So deconstructing those beliefs, and going through that pain or healing, finding ways to heal, reduce the intensity of wanting to belong. So which beliefs do you have? And where do you feel this feeling of not belonging in your body?

And so the second thing we can all do, something we can all do is be as loving and kind and accepting to all the people we come across, even, or especially when someone is different, or seemingly different than us, or someone who makes different choices, as difficult as it is.

And then another way of practicing belonging, what I want to share with you too, is connecting with the Earth, with plant beings and even your spirit allies. If you know them, you might be surprised how healing that can be. And you might wonder why I bring this topic in a podcast where we talk mostly about removing blocks, right? Well, because often we do or say things because we want to belong, but not necessarily because it really comes from within, not necessarily because we want it. So there is a block there to really live authentically, to really live how we want to live or be who we want to be. So yeah, how authentic Aae we really, if we crave for that belonging? if we see or do things because we want to belong? Because sometimes we make certain choices, because then our parents won't complain, or our friends would agree with it or we would be accepted in a society. But what do you really want? Sometimes we only say what's allowed to be said or what is perceived correct...That we know we won't get critique for. But is that what we really want to say? Or are we just saying it or doing it because we want love, acceptation, support? Are we actually just scared to end up alone? To not be part of something? It's a real thing, you know?

If you're really honest with yourself, in which way do you have a feeling you don't belong? And why is it important to you? And what are you not seeing, doing or choosing? And you know, simultaneously, it's good to check in with yourself, Where do you feel you do belong? And how does that make you feel? Because bringing in that feeling into your body can be very healing and very helpful. It's mostly located around your heart center, and it can give like this warm feeling, I mean, at least that's how it feels, to me, maybe it feels differently for you, but try to put that feeling in your body. And focusing on that feeling can be very grounding. It's also a good place to make your decisions from because however you feel you actually already belong. You belong. You are welcome here. Earth is your home. And you're here for a reason.

And even if even the struggle of belonging or not belonging can teach you so much, or that's at least what I feel, that struggle can also be here for a reason. So if you enjoyed this podcast, send it to a friend or family member, or give it five stars as it helps other people find this podcast on the platforms.

And if you're interested in working with me, maybe especially around this topic of belonging, or maybe you feel you have this wound of rejection, or abandonment. Then you find all the info on one on one sessions in the show notes of this episode.


⁠⁠Work with me Under the Baobab Tree in a 1 on 1 session.⁠⁠ I offer breathwork and inner child healing - great ways to work through these feelings of wanting to belong or at least the wounds that may be underneath!

⁠⁠Subscribe to my newsletter⁠⁠ to receive some personal letters in your mailbox.


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