Throughout my life I’ve always wanted to belong. It seemed like every age group had an inner circle that I could never quite get into. During my middle school years I had the good fortune of being athletic and though I did have a large group of friends, most of the time it felt like an episode of One Tree Hill what with all the backstabbing and boyfriend stealing.
As I grew up, I kept just missing out on belonging. Or at least that’s how it felt. The few times I did get to “look behind the curtain” so to speak, I didn’t like what I saw. It wasn’t a beautiful demonstration of camaraderie at all. Instead, it was a delicate balancing act of tiptoeing and ego boosting and I was disheartened.
So often I’ve traded my own power for a seat at a perceived table and when I walked through the door having sacrificed nearly all of me, I was shocked to see that there was no table at all.
There was simply the appearance of something epic and much like the old saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”, so it is true of inner circles.
Instead of hoping for a seat at someone else’s table, what if you created your own? Instead of having to change yourself to fit into someone else’s idea of who should be in the circle, why not simply invite who you’d like to your own? This idea of needing to shrink ourselves to fit into someone else’s box is destructive and has never been worth it in my experience.
The inner circles I longed to belong to were never what they appeared. And I, being who I am, was far too perceptive for their liking. Once their mask slipped and I caught it, I was cast out for fear that I had seen too much.
The circles that were worth belonging to always caught me by surprise.
They were the ones that started from a shared passion and gradually transformed into beautiful and effortless friendships. When I say effortless I simply mean that I didn’t have to be someone else in order to belong. Great friendships still take effort and the best ones are forged through fires of uncomfortable conversations, hurt feelings, and plenty of grace and forgiveness.
No, these circles didn’t require anything from me to belong. One day I simply looked up and realized that I had had my “inner circle” all along. I only missed it because I was looking for someone else to validate my existence and my belonging. Caught up in the picture someone else sold me of how amazing their circle was and by getting lost in their idea of a “tribe”, I lost sight of my own right in front of me.
I think inner circles happen accidentally at first and then take intentional effort to maintain. I don’t believe the opposite is true. No one should have to work hard to be invited into an inner circle. What comes with that is uncertainty and walking on eggshells because at any moment you could be unceremoniously removed from said circle. The inner circles that simply take form are the ones worth fighting for because you’re already in. All you need to do is look around and notice that it’s been there all along.
Meggan Larson is an award winning author (best selling on Amazon), course creator, wife, mom, and adoptee. She currently lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband and three children. She helps women tell their beautiful, powerful, and authentic stories. You can connect with her at megganlarson.ca or email her at email@example.com