Yesterday I thought, “What if I painted a Robot a day and asked the Robot for a message while I was painting!” Crazy idea, I know, and I thought I’d go with it any way.
The message received today was BELONG.
Belong. What are the underlying messages here?
Yesterday while working in my studio I felt vulnerable and not at ease. I felt I was not serving my community. I felt a bit out to sea so to speak. It was one of those art funky days: wondering if what I’m presently doing in my studio mattered… I felt constricted and small and not a part of the larger stream. You know this place! The place where negative speak mode sets in: I don’t know what I’m doing, who cares, why am I doing, what if’s … ad nauseam.
And today I receive a message from my painted Robot: ‘Belong’. Be part of, a member.
I sit with this word and find there is a history of feeling ‘outside of’ or ‘not a part of’. The belief of not belonging is located near my heart. I understand how truly wrong this is. And yet I still carry the woundings of being born into a Jewish immigrant family. Both my parents left Nazi Germany and came to a country they did not know. They were persecuted for belonging to a faith that was not accepted by their parent country or culture. Waves of not belonging are residual tides inherited from my ancestors. I still unwittingly carry the samsara of Jewish wandering. After all we were in the desert for a long time…(a little humor helps!)
I begin understanding how the feeling on not belonging has colored my life. The Judaism of my childhood did not speak to me. The spiritual aspects had been sanitized and was delivered from a masculine pulpit. I sensed the patriarchy. I sensed the unease stitched into my natal faith. Being of faith meant threads of ‘the chosen’ as a succinct explanation, explaining persecution can be carried as a gift towards betterment simply did not offer me the solace or a deep truth I believed. I liked lighting the sabbath candles and feeling into the ancient texts. And was proud of the ethnicity of Judaism and yet I did not feel like I BELONGED to this tribe, even though I recognized my tribal mates easily. Because I was labeled as Jewish by Texas Christian society sometimes I was politely considered an outsider by the dominant community and subtle antisemitism also waked into my system . I belonged to survival and not to belief. Trusting still can be hard for me.
Texas itself felt strange to me. I loved the land scape and open plains yet I never felt I belonged here. I wonder now if this was simply an overiding tone intuitively picked up from my family and community. So even though I was born in Texas I unconsciously became an outsider continually adjusting to my surroundings.
It took me years till I understood that I had not belonged to myself. Why do I constantly question or care what others think? We all want to belong and be part of. We are tribal. However, if we are at odds with who we are at heart level, unable to march to our own soul-beat and continually find our grounding from outside ourselves, we will 1) Be unsatisfied 2) Will be unable to belong to groups or communities we really do want to belong to. I know all these paradoxes. 3) Will be ungrounded in our relationships…there will be a need to continually push away.
I am loving exploring the concept of ‘belonging’.
I think the Robots have come to teach about programing: What do I buy into and what don’t I buy into and why? Where does the programing/belief arise from? What programs are hold overs from old woundings? What are collective programs? What are generational programs? What are communal programs? Can morality stand on it’s own? When are ethics unattached to programs?
I find the more I Belong to my own heart, the more I am able to become vulnerable and listen to the heart of others. I don’t need to defend as much.
Brene Brown speaks of this same discovery in her beautiful new book Braving the Wilderness the Courage to Stand Alone. I will not go into Brene’s work here. Since I am aware of her work, I did want to mention it for those who would like to explore the subject of belonging more and all the paradoxes this juicy exploration holds. Of course Brown’s book is about much more.
Today I offer up this Robot as a possible way we may reach each other. If we truly courageously belong to our small self which is part of the BIG SELF/The soul self/The Goddess, in some traditions, how are we not connected to each other?