There are thousands and thousands of research studies about how a sense of belonging is one of the key elements to health. Nature is where my sense of belonging blossoms, grows and is nurtured and feels like the healthiest relationship I have. I give, I get given a shed load back. I feel protective and I feel protected. I listen and I always feel heard.
Scanning over an article just now – I never read these kinda things as it is just too triggering, so I literally scan over the pictures and get the gist – about how suicide has become an epidemic. I was absolutely shocked to see their chart showing how self-harm was the leading cause of death in the developing world in 2010. I think I had heard this statistic loosely before, but there was something about seeing it in an actual list…sitting there above natural causes. It broke my heart. And it made the anger in me boil, that this is even the case. The rage felt blinding and the protection oozed out and I just want to stop it all. One day I’ll work with this and with people knee deep in suicidality, but definitely not yet. My attempt, and all those of my mother, are way way too fresh. But one day.
In another little picture in the article, it shows the three leading elements that contribute to the desire of suicide, and right there is: ‘thwarted belongingness’. For me that has been and was definitely a leading factor in my feeling of desperation in the years before now. But now it has changed, and I definitely think nature has been the crucial instrument in helping this song of belonging develop begin to play in my heart. It makes me teary to realise this, and also makes me realise how much I’ve grown.
Mindful, playful and heartfelt connection with the earth has meant this song has continued to play over the year. Somedays louder than others, and somedays it feels like it’s gone quiet but the difference is that even on these deeply lonely quiet days, there is a murmur of song gently playing in the background that was never there before. It was either all or nothing before. I felt loved or I felt loathed. I felt supported or I felt painfully isolated. I felt as though I belonged, or I felt as though my feet had no place on this earth where they felt truly held.
Just like anything, it took practise to get this song playing…this alien thing I didn’t know how to do I can now do with my eyes closed. The way I can get my being to truly feel held, the way I can open my heart up to the natural world around me and let the support in, the way I can ground myself and allow myself to feel a sense of purpose in simply just being on the earth – nothing else – is just bloody beautiful. And is something that gives me faith for whatever road lies ahead, because this is a song I know will never fade out.
That last image was borrowed – i just loved it. Link attached.