My Need to Belong

I’m getting personal and this post is discombobulated.

When I was 12, my parents and I moved. This address change turned my world upside down. In true drama-queen fashion, my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Mabry, found me on the floor of a bathroom stall crying because I was afraid of leaving what I considered “comfortable.” Lucky for me, we moved to a town 20 miles away … and in the same county. I began 7th grade in a new school and made friends quickly. Eventually, all was well in my sunshine-and-butterflies world. I began playing competitive golf and felt at ease on the golf course. I was also active at church, in the community, and at school. I felt validated, affirmed, and like I belonged. My worth was based on achievements and the acceptance of others. Even today, my hiccups are making other people happy and knowing they’re proud of me. And, yes, it is exhausting.

Since graduating high school, I’ve moved several more times. In fact, I’ve lived in seven cities since 2002 — Clay, KY; Louisville, KY; Beaumont, TX; Commerce, TX; Emory, TX; Crowley, TX; and Joshua, TX. Obviously, attending three universities in two states within a four-year period brought challenges, blessings, and moments of oh-shit. It’s been quite the roller coaster: hurt feelings, disappointments, dreams shattered, surprises, new opportunities, and love found.

Speaking of love, I cannot put into words how blessed I am. I rely on Husband’s strength because I often feel weak. His confidence and security amazes me. His words the other night, I only need affirmation from you, melted my heart. He does not need validation from other people. This is such a foreign concept to me. I’ve spent my life grading my worth based on affirmation from others. If I do enough, volunteer enough, serve enough, go enough, attend enough, or give enough, people will like me, accept me, and I will belong. Husband’s frustrations are valid: the standards and expectations in which I judge myself are foolish.

The fact of the matter is this: it does not matter how much I do or give, there will always be someone else with more influence, more talent, more time, more money, more, more, more. In my effort to be everything to everybody, I have failed miserably. However, I cannot keep my self-worth trapped in the perspective of others because my Creator says, “You belong to me.”

I am enough.

By |2012-11-16T05:00:03+00:00November 16th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

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  1. Celeste Zachry November 16, 2012 at 5:16 am - Reply

    You are so much more than enough in my eyes…and the fact that you showed up last night affirms that you feel the same. Thank you, Nicole.

    • Nicole November 16, 2012 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Thank you, Celeste ….. last night was fun, glad I was able to visit. There are some talented folks in this here region too. =)

  2. Raquel engle November 16, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Wonderful post!!! Thanks for sharing how many of us feel. <3

    • Nicole November 16, 2012 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Thanks Raquel. Have a blessed day and wonderful weekend. =)

  3. Julie November 16, 2012 at 9:52 am - Reply

    What you were brave enought to “say” out loud is something I believe so many of us battle with. We are always trying to be and do everything for others and we, as well as sometimes those that mean the most to us get lost in the shuffle. Beautiful post and you definitely are enough! Have a wondeful weekend!

    • Nicole November 16, 2012 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Thank you, Julie. You’re so sweet. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too, it’s supposed to gorgeous. Big hugs!!!!!

  4. Myra Price November 16, 2012 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I think many of us struggle with being “enough”. Thanks for reminding us that
    in God’s eyes, “I am enough”.

  5. wilma November 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Nicole, I never would have imagined you feeling you had to give so much to be liked or disliked.. I see you as confident, courageous, & talented.. Not on the basis of how much you give, but who you are and how well likable you are.. We all have gone through the stage of ‘ I need everyone to like me’.. I used to be that way too. But something happened when I turned 40., Oprah said (l have learned so much from Oprah) ‘there comes a time where you finally figure out that you can be just yourself, people will either like you or dislike you, the ones you love count, the others, don’t..
    I love you, Nicole, not just because you are family, but because I’ve gotten to know more about you through your blogs.. You, girlfriend are ‘SUPER DUPER’ in my book… hugs


    • Nicole November 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Wilma, thank you. Very much. Perhaps I’m going through a quarter-life crisis. Who knows. Oh wait, I’m turning 29 next month and with 30 fast approaching, I’m losing my mind!!!!! Big hugs to you, Lovely Lady. ~Nicole

  6. lovelylici1986 November 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    It’s easy to need that affirmation from others, but not so easy to live that way, right? I’ve had to shake myself from the same sort of thing. It was so bad for me that I wouldn’t try things because I thought people would think I wouldn’t be good at it, even if I could rock it out! University was good for me that way. I could join the debate club without anyone saying, “But you’re so shy!” I could just BE, and rock it out.
    I hope you live to satisfy yourself, and be happy. 🙂

    • Nicole November 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Lici, you’re so sweet. And so right. “Be Happy” =)
      Hugs, my friend.

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