“Belonging is being part of something bigger than yourself. But it’s also the courage to stand alone and to belong to yourself above all else.” -Brene Brown.

Love this quote by #Brene Brown.

I don’t always comment on my favorite quote of the week for Wordsmith Wednesday.

But this one struck a chord.

One worthy of further exploration.

It can be incredibly hard to be fully present in the world with others once you have experienced tremendous loss and chosen a path of impacting needed change and social justice as a result.

As you honor your path, you will be underestimated, misunderstood and even judged, including sometimes by those seemingly closest to you.

Some that may not understand your work, show little interest, or rarely check in.

Something that still surprises me.

One person’s success doesn’t lessen other people’s dreams and pursuits.

We should take turns celebrating each other.

That said, a more solitary, passionate path is both exhilarating and sometimes lonely.

It can be hard to fit in anywhere.

Still, I wouldn’t change what I have chosen for my life as a result of adversity and great loss. Fortunately, I am more introvert than party girl and no longer a dedicated people pleaser, and I am determined to make a difference in this world.

By staying the course. My course. Clearly focused.

That’s up to me to realize.

Not by changing or explaining who I am to others, or by making myself smaller in some way to make others more comfortable.

I no longer have the energy for that. I’ve been through too much.

I‘m more than good with solitary life moments.

They reserve fuel for the challenging journey still ahead.

Being an effective activist and change agent is exhausting. Taking time to regroup is critical for the on-going work. The need for regular self-care is real.

After all these years, I now make life decisions based on all the right reasons, with a clear goal and end game in mind, not just to fit in where I clearly don’t belong.

That may result in some discomfort or loneliness.

It’s also incredibly empowering.

In the end, I’m not here to please anyone else, and I’m not looking for other’s approval.

Sorry. Not sorry.

I‘m here to try to make a difference and impact needed change, in the most loving, respectful and lasting way possible. Hopefully, with international reach.

That’s my chosen, often-solitary path. That’s my life.

I will live it full out in that way for as long as I can.

As long as there is work to do and I am able.

Hopefully leaving something of value behind.

How about you? How do you define belonging?

Are you giving up something important of yourself in order to belong where you clearly don’t?