Life's Seasons Speaks

Belonging Through Being Claimed

June 22, 2022 Tina Episode 64
Life's Seasons Speaks
Belonging Through Being Claimed
Show Notes Transcript

Belonging Through Being Claimed

Real belonging is knowing that someone has CLAIMED you.

When we look up the word claim and check out the meanings associated with it...

·        a demand or request for something considered one's due.

We have the RIGHT to belong.  It is not earned.  And we can’t lose the right to be claimed either.  It was not just a NEED we were born with.  It was a human right to belong - to be a part of a family, a community, society that all become caregivers.

Another meaning given regarding the word claim is:

·        an assertion of the truth of something; that it is the case, and typically without providing evidence or proof.

So put that into context of being claimed and belonging.  Again, it shows that there is no requirement of earning it.  Because there is no need for proof.  You don’t have to produce a shred of evidence.  

What happens when we don't feel like we belong?  How does that impact our ability to connect in relationship?  What can we do about it?

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A while back, we did an episode on connection.  We talked about how we, as human beings, were made to be in connection.  We are a relational people.  We NEED to belong to someone.  

And I know that sounds like a lovely and sweet idea, but it’s not just about us feeling good.  It is essential to our very survival that we belong to someone.

There are many mammals on this planet that abandon their babies shortly after they are born.  Within two weeks, the young are left to fend for themselves.  And they can do it.  But even before that, these baby mammals are able to stand, walk, and make their way to a food source, very quickly after birth.  

Human babies cry when they are hungry.  They just lay there and cry.  The food source must come them.  They would not survive if left to find their food.  They would not survive if left to fend for themselves after two weeks.  Nor would they survive if left on their own after two years.

It takes another human being to come to them, to connect with them, for them to live.  Not even thrive, but to just merely stay alive.  Without another human’s intervention, our human babies would die. 

Beyond just the feeding action though, if they are not able to have some consistency in who this person is, who will keep coming to them, if they cannot connect with them and form a bond, they will fail to thrive and be at risk for death.

Physically, our human babies need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and protected.  All of these things are for the baby to BE and FEEL physically safe.  And these needs do not change as they grow.  They just become more and more independent in their ability to meet these needs.

Psychologically, our babies need to be connected.  They need to belong to someone.  They need to BE CLAIMED as someone’s.  And this is to BE and FEEL psychologically safe.  And this need does not change either.  It remains a constant need through out their lives as they grow and mature.  But this need, does not become one that we can learn to meet ourselves, for ourselves.  We will always need someone to whom we belong.

We come into this world, literally tethered to another human being.  And we will always need a connection to another.

We will go our whole lives needing this connection, needing to belong, needing to be claimed.  This is nurturing, and protective. To our bodies, our minds, our souls, and our spirits. 

When we don’t have a family to belong to, (and family has nothing to do with being related, but everything to belonging), we are left to face threats alone, and our focus becomes survival, rather than growth, development, and relationship building.

We literally crawl inside our survival brain because we know its us and us alone that has to face whatever is coming.  No one has our backs.

In survival brain we are hypervigilant and ever aware of what may be threatening.  We are at the ready.  Unable to process thoughts and feelings, unable to regulate, and unable to share in our terror.

Our one goal and one goal alone is… survive.

 

And it’s sad.  But we grow accustomed to it as our norm.  Which means that when someone does authentically come along and want to connect with us, we:

·        Don’t trust their words or actions

·        Don’t understand their words or actions

·        Don’t notice their words or actions… because we are too busy surviving or

·        Ruin their attempt, sabotage the possible future connection with them, and push them away before they can leave us.

It’s another survival technique.  Ruin it before they can ruin us.  If I don’t connect, surely it won’t hurt so bad when I do, and then they abandon me.

Survival mode is safer if you assume everyone is out to hurt you.  Therefore, you presume everyone is the enemy and you keep everyone at arm’s length.  Where you can see them better.  Watch them closer.  Watch for the threats they are surely to have waiting to throw at us.

Or watch for the signs that they are now done with us.  And they are leaving us.  Alone.  Again.

We all need to have someone in our lives who is a safe caregiver.  Even in partnerships, you need a caregiver.  It doesn’t mean you are unable to care for yourself.  It means you deserve to have someone else caring for you.  Someone who gives you love and care, is a caregiver.

If you don’t have a consistently safe, loving caregiver, you are left at a deficit in your capacity to feel connected and to connect with others.

Ok, we get it.  Belonging is essential to survival.  But there are too many feelings associated to belonging to just box it into a physical do or die scenario.  

We can’t tick a box and say someone is taking care of your physical needs; therefore, you belong to them, you’ll be fine.

No, belonging is so much more than that.  Belonging is knowing that someone has CLAIMED you.

I looked up the word claim and checked out the meanings associated with it.

·        a demand or request for something considered one's due.

We have the RIGHT to belong.  It is not earned.  And we can’t lose the right to be claimed either.  It was not just a NEED we were born with.  It was a human right, to belong.  To be a part of a family, a community, society that all become caregivers.

Another meaning given regarding the word claim was

·        an assertion of the truth of something; that it is the case, and typically without providing evidence or proof.

So put that into context of being claimed and belonging.  Again, it shows that there is no requirement of earning it.  Because there is no need for proof.  You don’t have to produce a shred of evidence.  

My family is and has been made up of foster children, adopted children, and stepchildren.  I have stepparents.  I am a stepchild.  I have in-laws and I am an in-law.

And not once did I feel like I didn’t belong to them because I could not produce DNA evidence of belonging.  I hope to God that not one of them felt like they didn’t belong to me because they couldn’t produce evidence of being related through blood analysis.

Because the very core of belonging, the gift of claiming and being claimed, has nothing to do with anything that relates you.  It has everything to do with the choice you made to say YOU ARE MINE.

And this makes sense, doesn’t it?  We choose our partners.  We claim them as ours.  And we surely don’t need to prove that we are related.  In some cases, we need to prove that we are not.  And that’s not a bad thing.

But they are not less claimed than those who are related to us through DNA, are they?

In fact, my daughter who is adopted, has found it very funny over the years to say to her big brothers who are biologically my sons, “mom had to raise you.  She was stuck with you two.  No choice.  You are what she got.  But she chose me.”

Now, that could sound very harsh, but remember her brothers are much older than she is.  So they always thought it was cute, funny, and they always made a big deal of it so she would think she was exactly right.  That mom was stuck with them, but she was especially chosen.

Because there can be an internal war that wages for adopted children.  Long after they grow up too.  And for stepchildren and stepparents, wondering where and how they exactly fit in.

They can feel like they are on the outside, watching a family unit function as a whole, while they are an extra piece.

And sadly, sometimes that is how it is.  They are being treated like that and that’s why they feel it.  But there are many many times, when it is not the case, not the reality, but it is the feeling… because belonging and being claimed is that important.

It is that important that you spend much of your time scanning for the evidence that it isn’t what you have.  Because that isn’t something you can just hope for.  Remember, it is something that you NEED.  If you are afraid that you don’t belong, you may be hypervigilant in your efforts to prove that.  Thinking you need to spot it and confirm it, so you can take care of yourself.

But this is trauma brain.  This is survival mode.  And you’ll be at risk of those points we spoke of earlier.

·        Not trusting people’s words or actions

·        Not understanding their words or actions

·        Not noticing their words or actions… because you are too busy surviving or

·        Ruining people’s attempt, sabotaging the possible future connection with them, and pushing them away before they can leave you.

There is no greater gift than lowering your weapon, tearing down your wall, and relaxing in the fact that you’ve been claimed.  Someone wants you in their life.  You belong to them.  They belong to you.

When you ALLOW someone to claim you, you ALLOW yourself to BECOME theirs.

The real risk is not in someone abandoning you later on.  The real risk is you never letting someone fully claim you as theirs.

Because here is the real truth.  You may get abandoned.  At some point in your life.  Circumstances aside, it may happen.  But if you had allowed yourself to be theirs before that happened, that is your evidence that you can once again bond to another and belong again.

You can heal.  You can grow.  You can re-establish belonging.  And YOU, can CLAIM another as yours too.

And maybe you think I’m not talking to you.  You have 1000 Facebook friends and lots of followers on Instagram and TikTok.  You’ve got connections all over the place.

Being connected is different than being claimed.

And I know that’s true because one of my son’s has asked me on several occasions if I had seen his Facebook post.  And when I said yes, he asked why I didn’t comment.  He had lots of likes and comments… from his connections.  But he wanted the acknowledgement of someone he belonged to.

You know, if you put up a post about something that has happened in your life, something hard or something sad, you’ll get lots of likes and lots of comments offering “thoughts and prayers”.

But fewer people will privately message you asking if you need anything.

Fewer yet will go over and visit and bring you a coffee or a meal.

And imagine if the hardship you are facing prolongs into weeks or months or is now part of your life.  The people who are there for you are not your connections.  It will be to those whom you belong.  

The people who don’t disappear after the party or after the fun, or even after the funeral.  The people who stick around for the long run.  The people who are there good/bad/or even in the ordinary and boring mundane of it all… those are your people.  You belong to them.  They have claimed you.

But if you are still struggling to know exactly who these people are in your life, imagine your phone rings and you receive horrible news.  Something devastating has happened.  You hang up with the person letting you know.  Who is your first call going to be to?  And I don’t mean because they need to know this news.  I mean because you need them – that person… your person.

The person to whom you belong.  And if you are having a hard time deciding who you’d call first, because there are a few… you are blessed.

If you are having a hard time knowing who you’d call, because you’re not sure who would care – 

I’m sorry.  I am truly sorry.  We need to do better.  Because you matter and you deserve to belong to someone in a way that there is no doubt and no hesitation.  You know you’d call them.  They are your person.

And as I apologize, completely and genuinely, please also consider if you’ve been in survival mode, trying so hard to survive that you maybe didn’t notice someone who was trying to claim you.

That’s not your fault.  That’s not a terrible thing.  It’s been terrible for you not to have a person.  But the moment you realize that maybe you didn’t allow for it, that’s the same moment you can make a choice to start lowering your weapon, tearing down your wall, and moving away from survival mode.

It could be time to switch your focus from the distractions and shift them towards relationships.  Your ability to numb with drugs or excessive alcohol, your 75-hour work weeks, your 12 hobbies, extensive collections, or accumulation of stuff, won’t matter when the phone rings with terrible news.

You won’t care about the party coming up, the deadlines at work, or the sales at the mall this weekend.  You won’t call your boat, pool, or the cottage to share in your grief either.  None of that will matter.

You’ll need your person.  And you’ll deserve your person.  You’ll need and deserve your family.  The one that requires no evidence from you that you belong.  Because you just do.  And that’s the truth.  You don’t have to prove it or earn it.  And you can’t lose it.

Let’s make a devoted effort today, to make sure that those whom we claim… know it, without a doubt.  Let’s also make sure that we are allowing others to claim us.

We all deserve to feel loved, safe, and protected.  Let’s feed each other, clothe each other have each other’s backs.  But most of all, lets claim each other as belonging to our family.

Until next time, this is Tina saying good-bye for now, and we’ll speak again soon.