What does belonging mean? There are different aspects to belonging. The first is to have a place among people where I am accepted the way I am. This does not mean that everyone in the Clubhouse approves of everything I do or say. However, what it does mean is something even more important than that. It means that I am respected and accepted without judgment.
For me there are two places where I belong: my family of origin and the Clubhouse.
Unlike a family of origin, the Clubhouse is a community that you can choose to belong to. Membership is voluntary, and there are no time limits on membership. This means a lot to me. It guarantees a right to be part of a supportive community, and it also guarantees that this community won’t be taken away from me.
Belonging to the Clubhouse guarantees me a place in the world and society. I have a stronghold, and from there I can develop and grow in whatever ways I choose. I experience acceptance and appreciation. I can come and go as I want to. I receive what I need. And above all, I can always return.
I think that this is one of the most important reasons why the Clubhouse is so successful for so many different people.