sense of belonging

We all want a sense of belonging.

It is an ache in our heart. In our womb. In our souls.

We want to belong in our lives, in our bodies, in our hearts, and in ourselves.

We are hardwired to connect and have a sense of belonging.

Something beautiful happens when are feel we belong.

We feel free.

When you don’t feel you belong, there is an absence within – a constant yearning for something. That elusive something is missing. However, you can’t quite put your finger on it. It is always there.

You feel alienated. Separate. Disconnected. Lonely. But you keep yourself busy, so you don’t need to feel this constant ache – this ache deep within your bones. One that doesn’t leave you.

It is easier to remain silent. You don’t want to look like you have no friends. That you feel different and don’t feel you fit in.

Moreover, you remain silent and don’t reach out allowing this lack of sense of belonging to be maintained – within and without.

It seems easier to pretend that you belong because you want to feel accepted. But we don’t realise we are unwittingly keeping this alienation alive. All because we don’t want to feel like ‘other’.

The one that doesn’t belong. Because belonging gives you a sense of identity. Makes you feel valued. Someone of importance. But how do you maintain this when the source of your belonging changes? Through loving yourself.

Love changes it all

sense of belonging

Until you love yourself, being surrounded by other human beings doesn’t guarantee a sense of belonging. That is too tenuous. It shifts and changes all the time. You are relying on someone else for your sense of belonging.

This is a lonely place to be in. It drives you. Keeps you busy. Searching all the time. You never feel fulfilled. Once you realise that it comes from within, healing can start to happen. You start to focus within realising it is the connection to yourself that is missing. The connection that creates a sense of belonging.

How do you integrate?

By losing yourself first. That was my experience after a car accident. I lost myself completely. Looking back now I had to do this to find myself and what it meant to be a woman in my own right – not simply a woman without children. To belong in this pronatalist society. However, in a whole new way. Not in the way I had been.

A way that was sustainable. Long-lasting. I fought it as it was scary. Stepping into the unknown is hard. It is easier to be back where you were because that is familiar. That is known and comfortable. Like a comfortable old top that is full of holes. You keep it for old times sake.

However, it slowly dawned on me that surrounding myself with other people doesn’t guarantee a sense of belonging. I soon found out who was there for me and who wasn’t. It was a painful time full of hurt and anger.

By losing myself, I found myself. However, not in the way I was. I found I came to a place of love and sense of belonging in the most unexpected place – within my heart.

Thus, I was able to start healing the deep ache within. My heart, body and soul slowly stopped aching. There was relief. I had come home to me.

Most importantly, I didn’t realise how barren I had felt physically and emotionally. How much I yearned for this – to belong. In fact, it came from my childhood experience and living in different countries never feeling like I belonged. I was always ‘die Fremde’ (the foreigner in German). But loving myself has given me a reliable sense of belonging.

Storytelling is a powerful way to create a sense of belonging

sense of belonging

Until you start telling your story you don’t realise how much you missed yourself. How much you missed out on yourself and others missed out on you.

You start to share yourself full of love, confidence, and delight. That creates a sense of belonging. It supports your physical, mental, and spiritual health. You feel a sense of joy wanting to experience life in a whole new way.

For me, it is now about using words to create this for not only myself, but for others, so you feel wrapped in love, acceptance and warmth. To create a loving and safe space for you to also come to that wonderful sense of what it is like to belong. A place where you can find yourself – that missing part of you.

In turn, you can then create your own loving and safe space for others to belong. What a beautiful tapestry we can weave around the globe with this sense of freedom touching each other’s hearts and souls with a powerful source of belonging.

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
― Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Love you to share this with anyone you think would benefit from these ideas. And leave a comment with your thoughts as there is always more we can learn from each other.

If you would like to know more about how I can support you in getting that wonderful sense of belonging, click here to book a 15-minute clarity call to find the best way I can walk alongside you.


meet chantal

Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive psychotherapist and Reiki master who appreciates walking alongside women willing to take the courageous steps to dare to love themselves after a life-changing experience, specialising in women with unplanned childlessness coming to a place of freedom knowing they are creating their lives in their own way. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at



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