Here are some thoughts about the feeling "I don't belong anywhere, and it hurts so much" with a tapping script. This is an issue that almost all of my clients have.
Where does this feeling of not belonging come from?
We all feel that way under certain circumstances. However, if it is a very painful feeling that comes up again and again, if it is the theme of one's life, then it originates in childhood (and, possibly, past lives).
It is often mixed with other emotions, like loneliness, deep sadness, feeling different, "what's wrong with me", and abandonment and rejection. As we know, it is a basic need for children to belong, to have a safe place, to be at least validated if not cherished.
There are several childhood scenarios that bring up this ongoing, basic feeling.
Definitely a “missing mother”, which is a mother who was very sick or died, or, more common, a mother who was emotionally not connected to the child. If we don’t belong to our mother, who do we belong to? An absent father who is physically or emotionally not a secure part of a child’s life can have that effect too.
If we did not have a safe, secure place as a child and at least one adult person who gave us that feeling of belonging, we will have this constant yearning to belong somewhere, with someone.
How does it play out in adult life?
In many ways, and all of them are painful and difficult to handle. There are two extremes: We are constantly looking for that place or person that gives us a feeling of belonging, we are needy and a people pleaser. Separation of any kind, like a divorce, the death of a parent, or a job loss is very hard on us, and we are re-traumatized when that happens.
The other extreme is never allowing ourselves to attach to any person or place and always defending our so-called independence, which is no emotional freedom at all. We roam from place to place, from person to person, never finding inner peace.
What is the difference between fitting in and belonging?
We force ourselves to fit in where we don’t belong. It’s the round peg in the square hole, or the swan trying to be a duck. Belonging is natural and organic. It supports who we truly are.
How do we know that we belong, and can we learn to belong?
When that happens with a place or person, or a group of people, we just know. All of a sudden, there appears the right man, woman, child or group, the right spiritual path, or the kind of work that makes us happy. We know when it is just right for us. ("I was born to do this/to belong to this family/to be at this place/to follow this path"). Like the Ugly Duckling who finally found his people, the swans.
How do we get there? Mostly by trial and error, that is why this feeling is especially painful when we are young. However, we have to be able to learn from our painful experiences. It takes awareness and courage. Out of that flows the right action.
Is there an upside, a hidden treasure to this very painful issue?
That is the whole point of my work. Because it is so very painful, we can’t ignore it. The first rule is to avoid being self-destructive, or at least to be aware of it. Like numbing ourselves with food or substances, playing out big emotional dramas that hurt our relationships, or even staying in abusive situations.
The very best way to handle this is to go on a spiritual journey. Finding out want we really want in life, who we really are, what people and places are good and supportive for us. At the end, we'll find out that there is no separation. We are all one and belong to each other and to Source.
Tapping on “I don’t belong”
You agree to take responsibility for yourself during this process. If it is emotionally very intense, please contact and work with an experienced EFT practitioner.
First, tune in to your general feeling of emotional (and/or physical) pain regarding this issue and put your discomfort on a scale 0 to 10. 0 is no pain at all, and 10 is extreme. Write this number down. Start tapping on the KARATE CHOP point (side of the hand), and say out loud:
Even though I feel lost, unsafe, and out of place everywhere,
I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though I don’t belong anywhere and it hurts so much,
I honor and respect myself
Even though I have never felt safe when I was a child,
I allow myself to feel safe now.
Now tap on the following points while saying out loud:
Eyebrow: Always lost, unsafe, and out of place
Side of eye: I don’t belong anywhere
Under eye: I just don’t belong!
Nose: I am a stranger in this world wherever I go
Chin: Nobody wants me anyway
Collarbone: Why am I here, what am I doing here?
Under arm: This deep, old sadness
Top of head: This constant yearning for a place where I belong
Eyebrow: This little kid inside me…
Side of eye: …needs a home
Under eye: This little kid inside me…
Nose: …needs to belong
Chin: This pain in my heart
Collarbone: I am different, I don’t belong here
Under arm: There must be something wrong with me
Top of head: I want to go HOME
Take a deep breath.
Now, rate your global pain again on our scale 0 to 10.
If the intensity went down (or up) use Even though I STILL have/am/do… (adjust the grammar) as the new set-up phrase and go though the tapping sequence again. Repeat this process until you feel profound relief (an emotional shift), or as often as it feels right.
If your intensity did not budge at all (or the level gets “stuck” during the follow-up rounds) you have to get more specific.
If you were flooded with memories, thoughts, emotions, or body sensations while you were tapping, you already got more specific.
Since this script cannot be as personal as a private session, you have to adjust parts of it to your needs. The following sequence is a guideline, please fill in the blanks and extend it. There is no right or wrong when it comes to tapping. Often, out of the greatest mental and emotional mess, a gem (or a whole treasure chest) evolves. Trust the process.
Sometimes, you will release an issue in a jiffy. At other times, you have to do major excavation work.
Even though I feel this …. (strong emotion like fear, desperation, sadness) I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though I feel this emotion in my (body part like heart, throat, eyes), I love and appreciate my body
Even though I have this memory of (give it a title like “Forgotten in the grocery store”), I allow myself to feel safe now.
Eyebrow: This (emotion)
Side of eye: This discomfort/pain in my (body part)
Under eye: This memory of (title of memory)
Nose: There is no place for me in this world
Chin: I can never get over that
Collarbone: It hurts too much
Under arm: There is nothing and nobody I belong to
Top of head: This deep yearning for a place where I belong
Continue with the specifics of your feelings, body sensations, beliefs, and memories.
What does this current emotional pain remind you of?
When did you feel that you don’t belong for the first time?
How did you feel generally as a child?
What specific situation comes up? Narrate the story.
Did the discomfort/pain in your body shift? Where is it now?
What are your exact feelings now? Did they change?
Did another memory pop up?
Could you express your feelings as a child? If you did, what were the consequences? If you could not, how did you feel about that?
Continue to “dig” and follow the trail of your memories, thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. Talk it out, make notes, and tap until you get relief.
If you feel warm or dead tired, sigh, yawn, or get bored with the whole thing – those are good signs! Your energy is shifting.
Now you are ready for the last round:
Even though a part of me still feels that I don’t belong,
I choose to listen to the wiser part of me
Even though I don’t know who I would be without this feeling,
the truth is that this feeling is not who I really am
Even though I am sensitive and vulnerable,
I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Eyebrow: I give myself permission to let all that go now.
Side of eye: I give the lost little child inside me a home
Under eye: She (he) belongs with me
Nose: The time for healing is now
Chin: That was then and this is now
Collarbone: I reclaim my sense of belonging
Under arm: Separateness is an illusion
Top of the head: Nobody can get lost in this world because we are all ONE
Eyebrow: I let go of all this sadness and desperation now
Side of eye: My life is joyful and connected
Under eye: I am at home everywhere
Nose: I feel safe and secure in my body
Chin: I feel safe and secure with other people
Collarbone: I feel safe and secure in Spirit
Under arm: I trust the flow of life, I belong
Top of the head: I am guided and protected wherever I am
Take a deep breath.
Carna Zacharias-Miller is an EFT International Certified Advanced EFT practitioner in Tucson, Arizona. Her specialties are working with people who grew up in dysfunctional families, www.MissingMother.com, and introducing EFT into the dance community. Carna's new blog, www.sacredquestforlove, explores the spiritual side of emotions. You can also find her books on the site, The Way of the Ugly Duckling and, for dancers, It Takes Two To Tango.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published Apr 13, 2014.