You only are free when you realize you belong to no place — you belong every place. — Maya Angelou
I traveled to DC where I lived for eighteen years last weekend. The whole time I lived there, I never quite felt that I fit in. I felt like I was a visitor and reading Maya’s words this morning I realized that my feeling of being a stranger was my fault. It was about my lack of self-worth reinforced by events outside of my control.
When I was a boy, my family moved quite a bit, and just as I became comfortable in a city we moved again. It was only when I got old enough to develop self-esteem did I begin to believe I belonged.
Our need for belonging is a something we all share, and where we belong is a pillar of our identity. Therefore Maya’s wisdom rings especially true when she links freedom to belonging, and leads me to believe that the goal of belonging to every place is part of our life’s work, certainly worthy of our work during Lent.
I feel confident these days that I belong in Charlotte, NC. Now it is time to work at feeling like I belong in every place, a life’s work indeed.