First of all, a special announcement:
Do you know that you can feel better but you’re not sure how?
Have you thought about counselling, or just yearn for a place to be seen and heard?
My home-based counselling practice has opened. I am offering a range of services from The Healing Home and I like that it is comfy, confidential and holistic. My focus is mainly anxiety, trauma and chronic pain. so if you are wondering if this is right for you, call me at 250-833-6652 and we can chat. My fees are regular counselling standard at $120/hour and I love to offer a 2.5 hour package for $250. If you’ve been sitting on the fence as to whether you can feel better, move beyond anxiety and into your life, this may be for you. Generally, I like to get to the root of things and give you some tools to practice over time.
Now onto the blog…
I had a conversation with a young person last week from a different country who had immigrated to Canada. A new country, a different culture altogether. She recounted how in her friend group back in her country outside of school, most kids do drama and music, that’s all. She recounted how when she moved, she had trouble finding peers with similar interests as she didn’t play sports. She tried to fit in and do what the other kids were doing, but she found it awkward and embarrassing. The shame of joining in was worse than the pain of not fitting in. So, thankfully she gave up and continued to pursue her own passions, mostly in isolation until she started to find people with common interests.
Trying to fit in is a biologically programmed trait we have that in the past meant survival. We are programmed to be part of the herd, because if you weren’t, in caveman times you were outcast and that meant death. However, these days we can sometimes compromise ourselves for the group in order to fit in and that doesn’t work either.
As teenagers we naturally gravitate towards our peers in a move to leave the nest. It is vital to fit in (or so we think) as we move into a new herd. It is also the time we are developing our own unique identity apart from our families. This can be tricky to navigate sometimes.
I know as a teen how crippling it can be not to fit in. I remember spending great efforts to fit in to avoid the pain of exclusion. It works if you are willing to morph and shape-shift but oh the wasted energy!! If this is you, please, please remember:
You are you and you are unique. There is no-one else like you. There never was and there never has been. Get to know you. In the end, you will return to being you. Be you… It’s easier. Look at others who have taken risks to be themselves.
The group you are trying to fit in with is small. It won’t matter one fig when you spread your wings in the wider world.
What you are feeling is entirely normal. You are normal.
There is a tribe out there for you. There are lots of communities that love stamp-collecting, opera, refurbishing park benches (I’ve met them), hate sports, like politics and, well you name it, they’re out there. Use technology to find your tribe.
On the other side, how do you shame people or speak negatively about people who are not like you? Yes, you do. Think about how it would feel if they heard you. Is there something in you that fears them, fears being different? Breathe and open to the fact that the world is full of people who are entirely different from you, that’s what makes it interesting. Let go of judgement, it’s a much easier way to get through life. Judging others is only ever judging yourself. Go easier on you.
Every time you find yourself judging another, think about the quality in them you are judging. Is it laziness, greed, mean-ness or even cruelty? Really define it for yourself. Now, every single quality you can find in others, you can also find in yourself. You will find it. We all have the capacity for all qualities, yours might just show less. You can find a time you have also felt or displayed that quality. Your ego will fight this, but it is true.
It can also help to remember that everyone’s behaviour can be explained by a story. That guy that cut you off? He’s got a story. That uber-mean boss you had? She’s got a story. That child that misbehaves? You bet they’ve got a story. Mostly the stories are of un-met needs, but that’s a topic for another time…..
With mindfulness, we can return to ourselves time and time again, noticing how we contract, react, leave ourselves and return. There is no right way, no one way to be, no type of person you need to be. You only ever have to be you. And others only need to be them.
Where do you leave yourself at the door in an effort to fit in? What would it be like to just be you?
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde
To being you!