Celebrate your uniqueness every single day! God designed you as his masterpiece...your life is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God.
“Social conditioning” tries to shape our path and approach to life and tell us where we should be, what certain milestones we should be hitting at specific ages. The pressure of cultural norms can be overwhelming and daunting, setting you up for feeling as if you have failed if you are not where you should be according to the “norm”.
According to society’s path we should have a career breakthrough in our 20’s, we should be with the perfect partner by our 30’s and well on our way to starting a family and settling down, with financial security for all the years to follow.
That did not really happen for me - I started down that road by doing all the things that were expected of me and, looking back now, allowing others to dictate the path i should be going down. While most of those choices were great, some left me feeling as if I was doing life all wrong. For as long as I can remember I’ve “beat to a different drum” and while most of the time I have been happy with my choices, sometimes I felt as if I was failing horribly. I would look around and compare myself to some of my friends or other people who I believed “had it all together”, living more conventional lives, seemingly successful and happy while I was continually struggling, falling or failing, and I would often second guess what I was doing and the choices I have made.
The more we can quiet the voices in our head and really learn to quiet the mind and listen instead of living in reaction to the expectations of others, we can honor the deep voice within. We need to trust our intuition and pay attention to our ideas, desires and beliefs way below the surface. I always loved the way Wayne Dyer talked about intuition…”If prayer is us talking to God, than intuition is when God talks to us”, or as stated by Yogi Bhajan said, “Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is letting God talk to you.” Today I use meditation to receive inspiration and direction from God. This may sound like a foreign concept if you are not religious, or possibly even believe yourself to be an atheist. Whether you believe it to be the Universe, Spirit, metaphysical, I think it is fundamentally important to believe that there is a Creative Source. My personal belief is that God is the divine force of love that is within everything, that guides and directs us and communicates through us when we are still and silent. When we still our mind and body we truly connect with our spirit and once we establish our spiritual connection, our job is to follow the guidance we receive. As we add up the moments of stillness, we have a greater awareness of our purpose and our true connection to the world, and we can start to be the person that the world has been waiting on.
I know I am not the only one who has fallen off the “expected” path, maybe was never even really on it in the first place, or decided to choose a totally different path. It is really important to realize that it isn’t us that’s flawed. We must stop beating ourselves up, stop saying we are sorry and realize that it is actually society’s “one size fits all” life plan that is flawed. As Ralph Waldo Emerson so eloquently said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”.
If you are feeling as if you struggle to fit in, if you feel like you are always going against the grain, constantly the “black sheep”, just know that you are not alone. I believe that this is how Jesus often felt as well. He was often found out on his own in silent prayer. Those closest to him even denied that they knew him in his deepest hour of need.
Shift your perspective of the choices you have made. God is the grand overall designer, as my mentor, Paul Martinelli says, and he has always had a plan for your life, it maybe has just taken a while to start following it. After all, he is still writing your story, so stop trying to steal the pen. I have also heard it referred to like this, “Let go of your story so the universe can write a new one”. -unkown-
Honor your uniqueness and individuality instead of trying to conform to how others think you should be. Celebrate the fact that you are willing to stay true to who you are by going your own way.
In the words of Papu, “if you are acting like a sheep do not blame the shepherd. You cannot herd lions.” Wake up and ROAR and you are free to be the person you were meant to be.