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All the ways we belong to each other

One of my favorite things to see is all the different ways we belong to each other. We are all members of so many communities.

This was truly brought to my attention at a wedding I attended this weekend. The focal point is, obviously, the bride and groom, and all the guests are in different communities with them. Family, of course, is first bringing awareness to connection with ancestry -- parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Whether living or dead, we belong to those people who have come before us.

We belong to the siblings, cousins, partners and in-laws of our own generation. We belong to their children as aunts and uncles. We belong to our friends, those communities we joined and helped create -- the people we grew up with, went to school with, volunteered with, worshiped with.

Belonging isn't always easy. Sometimes we struggle with social situations, finding them uncomfortable even among family and friends. Sometimes we take responsibility for the well-being of others to the detriment of our own well-being. Belonging can be an obligation at one time and a blessing at another time. We belong to each other by default and by design.

Either way, we belong together. When it is by default and it's a struggle, maybe the best thing we can do is look for the positive in it all. And when it's by design, and when that design is blessed with love, belonging is a beautiful thing.

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