Monday, February 19, 2018

Greatest Belonging

Finally, I got to go see The Greatest Showman yesterday in the theater and man, oh, man, I loved it! It reached me on so many levels. Throughout the movie I kept thinking how central to the human character it is for all of us to find some sense of belonging. I teared up during one scene when P.T. Barnum’s wife, Charity, says to him something like, “You don’t need everyone to love you, just a few good people.”

A few good people.

I know what it’s like to be seduced by lights, to desperately crave approval from others. I’m well-acquainted with circles, sitting blissful, and at times, ignorantly excluding in the center of them. I’m also achingly aware of what it feels like to be carelessly tossed out of circles. Whether on my own volition, or because someone decided I no longer had a place, it’s devastating to lose that sense of belonging.

I’ve navigated beyond these losses, daring to create new bonds. Being familiar with the intimate pain of what it feels like to have belonging stripped away, I seek ways to help others to feel included. Wanted. Cared for.

That’s what was so mesmerizing and beautiful about this film. We all struggle with a freakish nature. We are all afraid to be shockingly vulnerable, scared that our secrets, our shortcomings, our oddities, and our “otherness” will be found out. Know what we all really desire?

To be embraced and loved for who we are, where we are, as we are.

There’s also beauty in learning to discern who the few good people are—the small ring of folks in our lives who will always be faithful, who love us through and through.

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