A few weeks ago I attended a Unity Church to see my good friend and her daughter sing in the choir.

 
The minister gave a lovely sermon on love and the difference between fitting in and belonging.

 
Fitting in is observing how a group you’d like to belong to is behaving and adjusting your speech and behavior. Fitting in can be either a nod to social norms—or an act of fear.

 
Belonging is knowing that however you act that you are accepted and loved for who you are. The definition of belonging is “acceptance as a natural member”.

 
There are times in life where we adjust our behavior to fit in.  At social gatherings we may avoid speaking about religion or politics.  (And it may be appropriate to avoid subjects that unnecessarily offend.)

 
Ultimately, however, we all want places and spaces where we belong, where we can be ourselves, warts and all, and be accepted.

 
Above all, acceptance starts with ourselves.  At the beginning of this New Year, is there an area where you would like to accept yourself more?   In what way could you be more loving to yourself?

 
Every part of you belongs in your life somehow.

 
And may your pursue your path finding ways to accept all the parts of you that belong,

 
Best wishes,
Elizabeth