The Need To Belong- Romantic to World-Centric Perspectives

We need one another… and that’s a beautiful thing.

IMG_0899We are part of our tribe.

Our tribe begins with our closest few and extends to all Humanity, perhaps even further. It starts from the one on one relations, and grows exponentially in our tribal and universal connections.

There is nothing wrong with needing each other. As Psychologist Aaron Ben-Zeev states clearly in his article from a romantic partnership perspective” A sense of belongingness is crucial to our well-being.”

There is no inherent “weakness” in needing someone, or asking for help.

Over the last few decades I have been in a few conversations where women would be sharing their need to be fiercely independent, not reliant on men, strong enough without any help, extremely self-sufficient and ALONE. This has never seemed to me as a very inclusive approach to liberating anything or anyone. Being “liberated” in this way only bred more separateness, more isolation, and less connectedness.I don’t think this was what was meant to happen from the Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 60’s- 70’s, but it has grown to include throwing away basal instincts of women and men alike, which is that we do actually NEED each other! Obviously being self-sufficient is a great quality to have, and liberation from oppression if one is truly “oppressed” is vital.  I know that the WLM had some strong points and aims based on the societal gender roles of the times, but some extremists seem to misuse the title of liberation as a way of separatismKen Wilbur really discusses this issue at great length, and is incredibly clear and detailed about oppression of women AND men historically and presently.

I do see much value in being confident and independent, as it is important for personal growth and self understanding, but it doesn’t mean that one needs to separate from others, we all qualify for and have earned the human right to connect!

As humans, we thrive communally, and wither without each other. There are many things we mutually need from each other, as we all have our important and unique roles on this evolving planet. No matter how small we are individually, the collective consciousness knows no bounds.IMG_0900


We, as a society, are evolving through our collective consciousness, as well as our individual consciousness. One cannot exist without the other.

(The term Collective Consciousness was credited to Emile Durkheim at the end of the 19th Century: ” The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or creative consciousness.”—Emile Durkheim Kenneth Allan; Kenneth D. Allan (2 November 2005). Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World. Pine Forge Press. p. 108.)

When we understand the connection between our individual self and that of the collective, we gain a broader understanding of each other, and are able to have much deeper compassion and empathy for one another. This explains the communal need and respect that we share with our fellows.

This interdependence (the dependence between things, i.e. plants and animals) is not to be confused with co-dependency (excessive emotional or psychological dependency on another, usually due to a mental illness or addiction.) Co-dependency is birthed out of  the natural instinct of need and belonging, but is blown out of proportion because of addictions or other issues. This can be worked through and put back in balance through counselling and other support networks. (Explaining Co-dependency)

I need you, you need me, and we all long to connect and share on intimate levels.IMG_0879

Physically we all need touch.

(studies have been done on infants/ children in orphanages that had all their basal needs met excluding touch, resulting in illness and even a shrinking of brain tissue (hippocampus)- and higher infant mortality rates than in children who did receive regular physical contact.)

Emotionally, we all want to feel safe, heard, and appreciated.

Mentally, we thrive by sharing knowledge, learning, growing and evolving together.

Spiritually/Creatively, we thrive on exploring our individual heightened experiences and ways to articulate/communicate these together, resulting in fellowship and continued bonding.

Integrating our need for each other, integrating our collective consciousness with our individuation, and integrating our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits will inevitably offer us closer intimate connections, higher understanding and mutuality, and deeper personal growth in the never-ending evolution of humanity.

Bottom line, We want to belong.