LIVING IN OUR DNA
The Many Layers of Home and Belonging
Who do we belong to?
How does it define us?
What does Belonging and Home mean to us?
How does it change us?
Is home the place where we feel we belong?
Does belonging bring peace and a sense of safety?
We all have an intrinsic need to belong. It’s in our DNA to connect and protect. When we are born we are tethered to our mother. For some of us it’s not a physical tethering, as my mother would say, “I wasn’t born under her heart but in it.” That love for our children is what ensures their very survival. It’s more than just feeling connected, it’s belonging to someone. As we grow and find our way into the world, what are the different ways we can achieve that sense of belonging? I watch the children I teach navigate to find acceptance amongst their peers in order to feel they belong. We watch people fleeing their homeland to find peace and safety in new lands. We move for love, work, education and to escape conflicts and find asylum. We move from one place, where perhaps we don’t feel we belong, looking for somewhere we do. People of different faiths and ideas are working together to try to bring peace and understanding to their homes. The diaspora of peoples around the world across time and place is changing our worldview. Children are waiting to be adopted into families to belong and be home. As Los Angeles changes and neighborhoods gentrify families are being forced out of their homes and communities, the place where they have belonged.
Watching and learning about the native wildlife where I live, and their need for corridors to survive across the urban landscape, it is clear that a safe place is important for all living creatures. Our need to belong and be home is timeless and worldwide.
For some, home is a physical place, and for others a spiritual place that no matter where we are our sense of belonging and home is within us. Some are lucky to be born feeling at home in their own skin. This most important need can tear us apart or with hope, understanding and collaboration bring us together.
What does HOME and BELONGING mean to you?
Please add your thoughts and story about home and belonging to our LIGHTHOUSE to help make it a shared experience. This process will transform the project both physically and spiritually as words change us. It will bring our words to light, out from the shadows. My hope is that this community Lighthouse that holds our thoughts, ideas, and what is in our hearts can inspire those of us that participate, as well as those that come to experience it. Perhaps together we can find understanding and help make this a better world.