I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long
(Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone)
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong
– Linkin Park, “Somewhere I Belong”
Those lyrics haunt me, echoing the voice of Chester Bennington, the former lead singer of Linkin Park. Chester tragically took his own life last week and it’s been reverberating off the walls within my head ever since. I wish someone was there to remind him that he mattered and that we needed him here with us. I’ve felt the pain that these lyrics describe, but I’ve also come to know that hope is greater than the darkness. My heart breaks whenever he crosses my mind, because I know that hope and healing were available for him, as well.
We all want somewhere to belong. We dress a certain way, act a certain way, talk a certain way, walk a certain way, laugh a certain way, and believe a certain way, often in sync with those to whom we crave belonging. It’s a beautiful, mysterious part of the human spirit that craves a tribe – a community. We are designed for relationships, which is why our hearts constantly yearn for love and understanding.
In this fallen world, we are broken and fragmented people, constantly fumbling over our own pride and selfishness. Human history shows us a pattern of injustice and hatred. However, the good news is that justice and love always win in the end. The life and story of Jesus is the greatest reminder of this very truth.
If I’m being completely honest with you (which I must), I rarely feel understood by others, including those closest to me. The way I think, the desires in my heart, and the battles I face aren’t easy to communicate with words. Loneliness and isolation are companions I’ve known quite well in my three-plus decades on this rock called earth. Yet, the beauty of “belonging” is that we don’t have to always fully understand one another to embrace and love one another. I’ve been loved and accepted by others who have never felt the pain of living with an anxiety disorder. Yet, due their compassion and their understanding of their own brokenness, they helped me belong.
I have also felt the comfort of connecting with others who understand exactly what I’m going through. Those interactions have been some of the most refreshing moments of my entire existence.
Maybe you feel misunderstood and as if you don’t belong. I have great news for you: there are people who care, there are people who know what you’re going through, and there is a place in this world to which you belong. Maybe you have yet to meet the people who care or understand you, but they do exist. Find the right help and don’t be afraid to admit that you’re broken. We are all broken in one way or another. It’s often when we admit that we need help that we can start the journey towards healing.
There is a place in this world where you belong. We need you. There are people who need you to be a voice of hope and compassion in their world. There are hurting souls who are waiting for you to show up with grace, mercy, and compassion.
Everyone craves somewhere to belong.