"At the age of thirty-four, while most of my girlfriends hurriedly made babies before their fertility windows closed, I received a diagnosis of stage three breast cancer."
This is the first paragraph in the introduction of her book.
Wide-eyed, I continued to read.
“I did not feel sick. I ate cleanly, biked to work, practiced yoga regularly, looked radiant, and my body was trying to kill me. Physically, I felt great. Emotionally, I was a mess. Recently broken up from my first long-term relationship, I returned to Washington, DC, where I had not lived since I was eighteen. People I knew were settling down in careers and first homes while I was in debt, living at my mom’s, and working for a dysfunctional international organization. I longed to belong to life but I contemplated my death daily."
The paragraphs poked something deep within me. The state Sebene describes felt so familiar. Minus the cancer diagnosis, I remember multiple instances in my life where I felt I was running away from something and into another thing equally if not more undesired. Disfunction in my personal life, emotional landslides a common occurrence. I fell short on what felt like everyone's standards of successful or anything worth doing or having. Contemplating my death which I was sure would be caused by my own hands.
I also had a consistent deep longing to belong to life. To all that is. Something in me knew that I am always connected to everything and everyone. But as an immigrant, second timer wife, stepparent, spiritual seeker on the path of unchaining what my programming says about where I am and am not, embodying belonging anywhere was a tough ask.
So I continued to read Sebene Selassie's book "You Belong"
Downloaded the audio version it and listened to her narrate it so beautifully. Listened to the whole 8 hours again.
Each chapter was deeply relatable, enlightening and simply brilliant. She unpacks the illusion of separation and fear of not belonging, how to become more and more aware of our "birth right", true belonging, through grounding, knowing, loving and connecting ourselves.
Please take a listen to this podcast episode where Sebene does more than just answer my questions about her life story and her book. I hope you are blessed with it a much as I am.
Get in touch with Sebene through her Website. She is also on Social media with the handle @sebeneselassie
To get your hands on Sebene's book, click here