Nov 292017

From my forthcoming book Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, new excerpt from my chapter on False Belonging: those places that may feel like home for a while but which have silent contracts in place that require us to cut parts of ourselves off in order to fit in.

Illustrated by Molly Costello

Our longing for community and purpose is so powerful that it can drive us to join groups, relationships, or systems of belief that, to our diminished or divided self, give the false impression of belonging. But places of false belonging grant us conditional membership, requiring us to cut parts of ourselves off in order to fit in. While false belonging can be useful and instructive for a time, the soul becomes restless when it reaches a glass ceiling, a restriction that prevents us from advancing. We may shrink back from this limitation for a time, but as we grow into our truth, the invisible boundary closes in on us and our devotion to the groupmind weakens. Your rebellion is a sign of health. It is the way of nature to shatter and reconstitute. Anything or anyone who denies your impulse to grow must either be revolutionised or relinquished.

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A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

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  13 Responses to “False Belonging”

  1. I was forced to leave my heart’s home a year ago. I pray everyday that I may be allowed to return. I miss it so much! Miss my friends-my life there. It is grotesquely ludicrous that because one is born in a certain country that one must be forced to live there. The sorrow is making me ill. I want to go HOME!! Oh the life of an expat.

  2. It seems like there is some adjustment when i come onto a tribe then there is maladjustment. I would like more clarity about this.

    • Yes. An open community like first love feels free. The soul soars in discovery. Yet there are subtle “group think, dress” rules of conformity it seems one “accepts”. Often even if authenticity is proported to be valued, people are conforming to group. Fear of being banished (death of sorts) maybe one driver. Not sure myself how to navigate this and looking forward to r axing this book.

  3. It seems like a balance between submission to survive VS honoring the inner being to thrive. So many wounds to heal, how?

  4. In the US many of us feel rootless. The american story is that we are “all immigrants” and that we’ve come together in a “great experiment” beyond ancestral identity. It’s sort of a blind faith, and pastes over a host of sins but there is some beauty to the idea. Being unmoored though seems to make us particularly vulnerable to the call to false belonging. We are so hungry to belong that belonging seems attractive even when there’s a lot of damage in the bargain. As I read your words, Toko-Pa, I thought of a most hidden-in-plain-sight false belonging — that we Homo Sapiens are an annointed group and the other creatures we harm are of no importance. There is a high cost to the soul in belonging to that! And even if one rebels the culture serves it up in so many ways we are accustomed to accepting that it’s quite difficult to even choose rebellion. How much chance do we of discovering how our souls yearn to be related to the world without actually seeing the way we are the source of such profound violence?

  5. Thank you for this post. This is exactly what continually happens to me. I really thought something was wrong with me and kept searching for ways to fix myself. Peace!

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