It occurs to me that throughout our life, one of the prevalent themes we experience is the desire to belong. When we are very small, we want to belong to a family. As children, we want to belong to someone as their "best friend." In high school we want to belong to a group or a clique, in college want to belong to an organization or school, and as we move into the work force, we want to belong to a profession.

This feeling of belonging starts at such a young age, and really it doesn't ever stop. And when those of us are out there in the single world (or in the not-so-happily-married world) we still want with belong - with someone else, as part of a couple. We want to be a part of a pair. We want to be a part of someone's life. We want to be a part of something created by more than what one person can accomplish. We want to belong to love.

And for those times in our lives when we are between couple-dom, that desire not only doesn't go away, but it can cry out louder and louder with each passing day. It can seem that being alone is not just lonely, but also somewhat shunning; as if we are not enough to belong with anyone else, that we are not enough to be loved.

But in reality, if we look around, that's just not true. Maybe if we define "belonging" only as being in a couple that's true, but maybe if we define belonging as "being loved" that is far from the truth. If we change our outlook to see who we do have in our life instead of who we don't, maybe we would see that we belong with so many.

We have children who love us - whether we are their parents or their family or their friend. We have family who rallies behind us and always has our back. We have friends who adore us for being silly or being strong. We have co-workers who rely on and look up to us. We have peers who admire us for what we have accomplished. We have joy and we have light if we just turn our focus away from the lacking and turn it toward what is there. We belong more than we think we do, to more than we know we do, if we just appreciate what our life includes, rather than what is missing.

This is the life.