The Power of Belonging: How Being Part of a Group Affects Macular Degeneration

Before I start, I must give a bit of background on a few things. Bear with me. The meat of this article is well worth getting to, I promise!

I have spent a lot of time learning how to meditate recently. I’m learning that the ability to stay calm in difficult moments is so very powerful. This article isn’t specifically about meditation, though if you’re interested in that you can find more information here.

Apps that help to ease my anxieties

I enjoy two meditation apps on my phone:

  1. The Calm App
  2. Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation App

These are two very different apps. The Calm App helps me to rest and fall asleep at bedtime (as well as my children). Oprah and Deepak’s Meditation App is more of a small (always amazing) therapy session with insight from Oprah and/or The Amazing Deepak Chopra, modern meditation guru in personal transformation and alternative medicine.

Every three months, Oprah and Deepak’s App offers a free meditation experience. We just finished one titled ‘Self-Empowerment.’ During this meditation experience, I have learned that there are three levels of self-empowerment, the third one being "The Power of Belonging."

Here’s where this article gets really good, macular degeneration friends...

The power of belonging

We all know how powerful and comforting it is to be a part of a group. Isn’t that why we are all here together on MacularDegeneration.net? In fact, being a part of a group has been one of the major players of overall wellness (body, mind, and soul) along my health journey.

I’ve never quite been able to express how important being part of a group or community is for those of us struggling with macular degeneration. But, listening to Deepak this morning really helped me understand the science behind it.

Deepak’s thoughts

“We thrive when we find the place where we fit and feel that we belong. The feeling of togetherness is a tremendous source of power and strength. What is happening at a deeper level is emerging and alignment with collective consciousness. The whole human family is a collection of feelings, beliefs, habits, and traditions. When you connect with collective consciousness, a major shift occurs. True empowerment cannot exist in complete isolation. A healthy connection outside yourself is required for it to grow, evolve, and multiply. In fact, the sense of belonging is often the best medicine.”

Please read that again because it is truly empowering.

Support and health

“Studies have shown that people get sick less often and recover more quickly if they have a network of family relationships, friends, and well wishes. For each support that is added, the chances for wellness increase because even our immune systems respond to, and are empowered by a sense of belonging. Support can come in any of the following forms: family, friends, a close community, a faith-based group, online support groups, and those devoted to a specific challenge like cancer survivors or recovering alcoholics."

This is where we come in! Our online support group that is devoted specifically to macular degeneration, helps give all of us here a sense of belonging. And that helps to empower our minds and bodies to heal!

Finding strength in belonging

Deepak goes on to say:

“The need to belong is our connection to collective consciousness. As individuals belonging to a group, we gain the strength of the power of the group. The group power becomes our power."

What does this mean for us?

I love that idea so much! That means that when I'm not feeling strong on any given day, I can come to our community and get strength from those that are! And when you aren't feeling strong, you too can come here and gain strength from others.

Belonging to an online community

Many people limit their sense of belonging to their primary relationships and close family. Belonging is another word of acceptance. Sometimes our close family and friends don't fully understand what we go through with macular degeneration. That's why our community here is so important. Here, we are all accepted and understood all the time. What a giant step forward in our healing!

Here, at MacularDegeneration.net we are, in our own way, a family. We are empowering each other and helping each other heal our bodies, minds, and souls. And, we are doing it in a way that our primary relationships and close family may not be able to. This is a healthy place for us to be. Being a part of MacularDegeneration.net has certainly helped me along my health journey and I hope that you feel the same way.

Here, we all belong! “The sense of belonging is often the best medicine.” -Deepak Chopra

Andrea Junge

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