Hello one and all, seems I’m not doing so well at this once a month thing! Nothing written since April, a touch slack! What have I been doing for 3 months? As I cast my mind back, it would appear I’ve been living and not setting aside time to write up any insights that have struck me. So good for me, not so good for those I wish to share with.
I was thinking about what to cover off in this post, and it seems a pretty common theme with those I both practice with, and those I read about is the idea that not so great stuff only happens to us as individuals. Each of us is the unlucky, odd or weird ones. Everyone else is just fine and getting on with it, “Why can’t I be more like everybody else?”. Turns out if you think about it a little bit, especially if you get to talk to others about it, you’ll discover most people feel the way you do. That’s the curse and gift of being an individual. The “trick” is to realise it’s far more of a gift than a curse and to embrace your individuality and to celebrate difference in others.
No doubt there are plenty of things that we want to feel similar on with our fellow humans, and the more you look the more you will find likeminded folk. On top of that though, you can also embrace your own ideas, tastes and likes, it really is what makes the world go around (that and gravity/cosmic events!). If we were all the same, we’d live in a pretty dull place. Love what you love, really revel in it, if it seems pretty different to others, why worry? As long as you’re not hurting anyone else (without their permission!) then go for it. Be prepared for a few odd looks or a little judgement from others who aren’t too open minded, but it really is there issue not yours.
In order to realise that you’re ok, talk to others, discover what others get up to. Soon you’ll discover all us humans are a very varied bunch. That there really is no such thing as “normal”, sure, there will be an element of “usual” in a range of situations and contexts, but that doesn’t mean being unusual is a bad thing.
The other strand to this that I come across in practice is that idea that we often feel we’re the only ones that feel a certain way. We’re aware of the social norms around us, and when our feelings don’t appear to fit them, then we assume we must be wrong or odd. In my experience it’s pretty much the other way around. Social norms function from a very one dimensional, limited context and really don’t translate well to the majority of the population. Who says you ought to be over a loved ones death in six months, following a set “standard” grief process? You can only experience it as you experience it, that’s not wrong, that’s being an individual in your life. Whatever bothers and stresses you is unique to you, you can’t compare and contrast to others suffering. What causes you grief and stress, causes just that. You won’t feel better just because you’re aware others have other terrible things going on too. That just adds an additional pressure to try to “pull yourself together”. All I would suggest is you explore what’s going on for you and work to accept it. Then find ways to start to reduce the damage those feelings do to you, and find others ways of thinking in order to make life feel better.
I realise this post might feel a little messy, two strands of a similar theme, but both I feel are very common and important to get our heads around. If we can talk to others and feel able to share what we feel and what we like doing, then a lot of angst and worry goes away. We get to just be us…that’s pretty refreshing, and from personal experience feels really good