Brene Brown is a renowned social psychologist who charts the more difficult human emotions, such as shame and explosive anger. Her TED talks are among the most watched in the world.
Recently she’s tackled the topic of belonging in her book, Braving the Wilderness. Here she emphasizes that true belonging requires that we also are able to be alone — what she calls, “being in the wilderness.” She writes, “True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are. True belonging is a spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your authentic self with the world, and stand alone in the wilderness. “
We’ll explore that dynamic in coming weeks – standing alone and belonging. Now is the time for this topic. Our quarantine has made us acutely aware of belonging to friends, family, our church, our social groups — or feeling we do not belong.
This coming Sunday, as we study Genesis, Chapters 1 through 2, we’ll think about belonging to Nature. We’re blessed to have an astonishing world of nature at our doorsteps: the wilderness of the Del Monte Forest, the sands of Spanish Bay, the cliffs of Big Sur, even our own familiar backyards and neighborhood paths.
We’re never alone in those places. They’re filled with hovering turkey vultures, monarch butterflies, placid deer and brazen raccoon – even the occasional whale.
Au contraire, Dr. Brown — we are never alone in the real wilderness!
But do we belong to the wilderness? Can its creatures offer us companionship, teach us important lessons, and even reveal the image of God?
Genesis claims just that!