Louisa Ikena discusses belonging in the context of affirming words spoken by others, ourselves, and God.
Reassurance. Validation. Belonging. Is there any one among us who honesty does not yearn for such things? And who among us does not have heartfelt words we long to hear? “You are so meant to be here” are among the words I long to hear and believe. What if we took the time to say these words to one another sincerely? Don’t we each have a friend or family member we really need to say these words to? “Dear friend, you are so meant to be in my life today, right here, right now. I so appreciate you for being you. You are so meant to be here.” What might it be like to say that to a loved one today? Who might the Holy Spirit be nudging you and me to talk to?
In addition to blessing others, I believe we are also challenged to bless ourselves with these words. My inner child longs, longs, longs to belong. To be heard. To be seen. To be loved.
I choose to do affirmations every morning as part of my prayer routine. Right after I prayerfully read Scripture, I read my daily affirmations. Affirmations, which are positive statements designed for repeated listening (definition I learned from author and narrator Belleruth Naparstek), are intense and personal. A few of my daily affirmations are:
- “I am very human and very loved.”
- “I deserve to have my voice.”
- “More and more, exactly as I am, right here, right now, I am growing in acceptance of myself.”
It’s not a far stretch for me to reassure myself and validate myself with the words at hand, “You are so meant to be here.” It brings me to the present moment. It brings my head to where my feet are. With God’s help, I can be emotionally available and fully present.
Have you even been in “the flow” creatively? I lose track of time, and I forget to look at my phone. Ideas flow out of me in a flood of creativity that leaves me joyful and grateful and, many times, spent. This experience has helped me realize that in this very moment, exactly due to grace, my unearned free gift from God, I am meant to be in this world today.
In all my humanity, even when I am a hot mess—when I feel bombarded and overwhelmed by my shortcomings, my shame, my sin—I have been and am being loved into being. No one can “be” like you or like me. We each have a unique way of being with unique gifts that someone might imitate but never duplicate. No one can love quite the way that each of us loves.
Our voices can prayerfully say the words “You are so meant to be here” to dear ones and to ourselves. And I believe the most powerful impact of all happens when we hear these words from God. It is not necessarily an audible hearing of these words, but we hear them nonetheless. Do we hear it in the wind? In the wood? On the waves? In every picturesque beauty of nature? Do we hear the Mighty Love echoing in the ordinary and the routine, and do we hear it as well in the moon at every phase and the stars shining on us all?
I reflect on my life and choices, on the lives and choices of those around me, and on circumstances that fall into place. I stand in awe.
Yes, I have times of doubt and times of questioning. We are human and make mistakes. And I pray for an increase in faith to dispel my doubts. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:13). I ask forgiveness for times I’ve fallen short of the glory of God. God, please help me to believe you come running out to meet me, like the father of the prodigal son. This affirmation rings true in this parable as well. I hear the father saying, “You are so meant to be here!”
God, thank You for blessing creation (that includes each of us). Thank You for each moment that has led to this moment. I pray every reader might embrace your child of God within, also known as your inner child. May each of us say with full voice, echoing the Voice of God, “You are so meant to be here.”
Copyright 2022 Louisa Ann Irene Ikena
About the Author
Although not a mother in a traditional sense, Louisa Ikena considers herself to be a good parent to her own inner child. She has many interests, attended the Catholic Writer’s Guild Online conference in February 2022, holds a degree from The Catholic University of America, and works in the health care field. Louisa lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Follow her on Instagram @louisaannireneikena.