Do you know the yoga move Chicken Looks For Her Contact?

Probably not since it is an inside joke. To this day, a well-placed chicken reference can flatten me out.

An ill-timed look between people when I am neither the giver nor the receiver can annoy, sadden, or leave me feeling out of some in-group I probably don’t even WANT to be in.

Eden lost speaks of “you’re not one of us” or “you’re not wanted here.” It’s defined by isolation, being not wanted, and is full of outcasts who are unconnected.

Belonging

Belonging, in the best sense, is a series of concentric circles. Threads of connection.

In the center is ourselves – we start by belonging to ourselves (and yes, I’ve seen the image where Jesus needs to sit at the center of lives on the chair. I agree, but in this image the trinity permeates all circles). I repeat, we first must belong to ourselves.

Amy

Moving out we belong to smaller groups. Family. Friends. Clubs. Where we know others and are known.

Kim, Marla, Amy, Lisa, Tom, Marsha, Elizabeth, Laura, Del, Sue, Emily, Katy, Anna, Chloe, Jenny, Dan, Mike, Anne, Steph, Michelle, Book Club, BLT, my gym, Small group, This church.

Outside circles make space for larger groups like schools, teams, States.

Colorado, Kansas, Sichuan, Beijing, KU!!, The Jayhawks, The Denver Broncos,  This school, That profession, book readers, Zumba-ers, Righthanded people whose favorite day is Tuesday (OK, we can go over-board with anything).

Taken on the surface, many teams and mascots are unnecessary. But dig a little deeper, they are a way of speaking belonging in a world that longs to belong. Colors, mascots, and traditions allow people to join a story bigger than you, with a history, and will go on after you … yet you are still needed and wanted in the here and now. You belong.

Belonging allows us to maintain our unique identities – if ever you are asked to change too much of yourself for another, that is not belonging, that is manipulation masquerading as belonging.

I can’t grasp how we will all return to Eden with our uniqueness and various groupings without fostering loneliness, isolation, ignoring and not wanting people on your team. I can’t grasp it because that’s not the way in Eden Lost.

Today, if Eden Lost says you’re not wanted, you don’t belong … remember that a day will come when the inside jokes and looks and gestures will no longer be hurtful because you, you will belong!

 31reminders from EdenAll the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, subscribe now. I am enjoying the journey together. Amy

Reminders: Lovesatisfactionextravagancefreedom, belonging.

Leave A Comment

  1. TIna Kolm October 6, 2013 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Poignant and well said! May I add 3 thoughts from my own lifelong struggle and reflection on this? First, being on the outside is sometimes harder for people who were oldest children. After all, they had the painful experience of being the “only” and then having to adjust to siblings. It can leave an imprint. Second, occasionally the “best” position is actually on the outside. You don’t have to give up some of yourself or enter into the fray. Third, interrelationships are always in flux. When I am on the outside of some extended family dynamic I now simply focus on connecting with yet some other relative (who also is on the outside) with whom I haven’t been in touch with recently just for the sake of it. As long as I “keep in touch” in a neutral way with the folks who are putting me on the outside things eventually shift and I am not on the outside. Prayer helps! I am writing from the land of the Jayhawks. Really like your blog! Tina K

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      Amy October 9, 2013 at 6:32 am - Reply

      Tina! Thank you for adding your thoughts … especially since they have “move the ball down the field” and take us further into this topic! I like the way you put it that this isn’t so much a matter of inside/outside but points of connection. :)

      And Rock Chalk! Do you go to the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin the 3rd Weekend in October? Wish I could come this year … maybe next :)

  2. Marilyn October 7, 2013 at 8:49 am - Reply

    This makes me think of the CS Lewis lecture “The Inner Ring” in his book The Weight of Glory. He looks at our desire to be in that ‘inner ring’ that place of belonging. Yet once we get there, we realize there is a ring beyond that, and once we’ve gotten to that ring, there’s a ring beyond that still. We constantly look to get to that ring that eludes us. This has been a tremendous learning curve for me. When in the west, I have had times where I’ve tried to get to that inner ring, that place where I feel comfortable, only to realize there’s something beyond. It can be in any discipline in life….I’ve found it can even happen in blogging where we look and see those who have supposedly made it to some inner ring of comradery and we feel lesser because we aren’t there. Lewis says “The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it.” At the beginning he poses this question: “I will ask only one question—and it is, of course, a rhetorical question which expects no answer. IN the whole of your life as you now remember it, has the desire to be on the right side of that invisible line ever prompted you to any act or word on which, in the cold small hours of a wakeful night, you can look back with satisfaction? If so, your case is more fortunate than most.” I like Tina’s thought above “Occasionally the ‘best’ position is on the outside” Thanks for getting me thinking Amy!

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      Amy October 9, 2013 at 6:26 am - Reply

      Marilyn!! I hadn’t heard C.S. Lewis explain it that way before … but it rings true as I read it. And I agree with you and Tina that belonging is more a state of being than a position (i.e. inside/outside). Sometimes when I have felt the greatest sense of belonging, I was actually an outsider :). Go figure!

  3. LisaZ October 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I’m very well versed in that yoga move and also enjoy a good chicken reference now and again;). Belonging is such a tricky thing. Most of us know that feeling of longing to be part of something but we’re not always adept at recognizing when someone else is feeling it and could use a bit of welcoming.

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      Amy October 9, 2013 at 6:20 am - Reply

      Chicken hits it out of the park is going to be the new name for stellar comments. Again, you are wise!! I’m going to try to pay more attention today in honor of you.

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