The artist as a loner is a classic story. Misunderstood by herself as well as others, she would rather keep to herself than risk the rejection that she sees as inevitable when trying to play others’ games. Lonesome, woe-some and misunderstood, she creates from her inner turmoil. Blah, blah, blah. Except, she’s perpetuating the belief that others won’t accept her because she won’t allow for their acceptance. She gets to reject them before they reject her. And she is me. You knew that though.

I moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere from the big city of Baltimore 15 years ago. I knew lots of people in my home town and moved to a place where I knew no one. I made a few acquaintances but I never truly felt I belonged. I felt like an outsider for a very long time. Not because people treated me like that but because I didn’t feel I fit in. I was holding people at arms length telling myself these weren’t my people. And so they weren’t.

A loner joins the community on

But as my confidence in myself and my gifts and purpose have grown over the past few years, I have noticed that I’ve left my door more ajar for random connections to happen with the people around me. And the resulting connections are growing and cheering me as I am now allowing for them. See when you don’t trust yourself, you don’t trust others. When you don’t see your value, you are suspicious of what other people want from you.

A loner joins the community on

These thoughts were sparked by my finally saying yes to joining a group workout. In fact it’s what is known as a Bootie Call class. There are thirty and early forties year old woman doing dance and aerobics to popular music. And there are more than a few belly dancer belly rolls choreographed into the routine. I can not do those. I am acutely aware of how awkward I feel in this class. Yet, I know that I am showing up for the opportunity to not be alone. And to sweat. And because I honor the women who invited me. I am very respectful of the inclusion.

Funny how a little bit of community can go a long way in encouraging you on your right path, or even to just nudge you a little forward. How it can boost and buoy you like no other resource at times. And all it takes is you seeing that you are just as valuable to your community as it is to you. And you saying yes to what you hear it and yourself asking you to do. When you find a place where what you are is needed and you are happy doing this, you belong there.

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  1. Shalagh,

    I hope that you feel valued for who you are, at UUFE.
    Your family, including you, are pretty much immersed in the life of the Fellowship. I hope that it feels like a comfortable community because we do value all of you.

    1. Oh absolutely Ann. And it required me to offer up what I had and risk giving it. Which of course then allowed to see my value in the words of other people. Very valuable to me. Thank you Ann for reading. That is validating as well!

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