The Importance of Belonging: Part 1

Dear Thriving Bride,

Today marks 34 days before my wedding and I need to admit this to you: I have always wanted to belong to someone. There, I said it!

Now, let me be clear about what this means.  I have never wanted to be owned by someone, as in property.  Property is something that you hope the owner will take care of, but it is also something that can be devalued based on the owner’s lack of care and due to the moodiness of the market on any given day.

Something that belongs to someone else has value based on the relationship that person has to it, and can only be devalued if that person chooses to mistreat it or lose sense of its full value.  I hope you are following me.  What I am saying is this:  I want to be married once and only once and I want that man to be PJ because I want to belong to him, and to give him the opportunity to allow himself to belong to me.

This idea of belonging has always been in the back of my mind, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  The other day I was opening a bottle with a sharp knife, and all of a sudden my hands started bleeding.  PJ came to the rescue amidst my screaming, and he kissed me.  In that moment, he gave me a look that he has given me so many times since we got engaged.  That look said: We belong to each other, and that means I have to take care of you and you have to take care of you too.  He did not have to say anything, but those eyes brought me back to this idea that I find emotionally overwhelming  and amazing all at once.

Thank you Dictionary for giving me the following definition:

be·long
   [bih-lawng, -long] Show IPA
verb (used without object)

1. to be in the relation of a member, adherent, inhabitant, etc. (usually followed by to ): He belongs to the Knights of Columbus.

2. to be proper or due; be properly or appropriately placed, situated, etc.: Books belong in every home. This belongs on the shelf. He is a statesman who belongs among the great.

I love the first and last definition.  The second one doesn’t really apply to what I am saying, so I will skip it for now.  I love that it talks about belonging as something that has to happen in relation to another person, member of a group, etc.  I also love that the third definition talks about being “properly or appropriately placed.”
Did you ever have a doll or favorite sweater that said “This belongs to” and then the item left a little tag or white space for you to write your name?  Remember those?  For some reason, when I could name something as belonging to me, I would always make sure I took extra care of it, and if my special doll ever went missing I would not go to sleep until I found it.  There was a certain level of responsibility involved in having that specific toy, doll or shirt.   And that responsibility made me aware of the consequences of not “properly or appropriately” placing something that belonged to me, which includes myself.
When the person you love has shown up in your life and given you the awesome honor and responsibility of giving you permission to belong to them and them to you, please know where and how to properly place them in your life.  Please know that they matter so much, and that there are consequences when you don’t remember the things that are important to them.
Please know that when they go missing, you won’t be able to sleep until you find them or comfort them.  Please know that this journey you have said yes to is about much more than a ring, a dress or how much you spend to feed all of your guests.  It is about knowing and understanding a person’s value, and it is only then that you can see the invisible tag on their skin with a white space that says “This beloved belongs to his/her beloved.”
There aren’t many opportunities like this in life.  So, just forget about the music choice for one minute and remember that nothing you ever own can ever belong to you, but how amazing is it that the things we can never own can belong to us if we understand the awesome opportunity and responsibility and act accordingly.
Now, that’s a pretty incredible chance to have.  For most people it only happens once and for you dear bride it is happening now and it’s pretty darn incredible.  So whatever you do, don’t let everything else get in the way and make you miss it.  That invisible white tag attached to your fiance is waiting for you to etch your name where it belongs.