“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
It took me along time to learn that lesson. I have felt different all my life, a lot of it. Was wondering if I even belonged, on this earth or in the present time.
At school as a child no one wanted to be my friend. They said “I was weird, different than everyone else. I learned to like being by myself all the time. From that point on I was just labeled weird or sometimes strange.
I always had problems opening my locker in junior high school. Other students would make fun of me, It would hurt me deeply but it also confirmed to me that my mother was right.
I enjoyed english class, and language arts. I throughly enjoyed music almost every kind (except opera). I enjoyed nature. I didn’t make friends until my senior year in high school.
I knew I was different then and as I grew I realized what’s tremendous value it was,
Although being different is not a easy path, I now hold my differences as precious. I want to be me, not someone who has to fake that they are like everyone else. I did that years ago, I felt like I was in prison all the time, having to hold everything inside.
Being different is a connection and belonging.
I’ve shared experiences with people who know what it’s like to feel different, creative people, people with disabilities, recovering addicts and some others.
Though we don’t share the same characteristics the mutual understanding of what it’s like to be different connects us, powerfully.
I know what it’s liked to be judged because of who you are. I know what it’s like to feel like an outsider. I know what sits like to try and hide my differences to fit in.
When fitting in is the opposite of being yourself. It makes you sick inside.
What I craved was to belong. Where I was accepted despite or even because of my differences only then different human beings find their true belonging.
What we have in common easily trumps our differences
We have empathy built into our brains, we mirror neutrons which means that we hear someone tell a moving story and we all feel what every one feels.
People who are different all want to be understood. Science has proven that we are instinctively more alike than different.
My differences are a source of motivation
Looking back on the life choices I have made. I can see in my life when it was hard as hell, but I never gave up, I’ve always helped people who were down because I knew what that felt like.
Even when I took too many pills to try and end my life or prayed to God to not let me wake up, I was in a place where I wanted to give up. When you tempt the Devil as many times as I have and your still alive, you have a big purpose in life to fulfill. But, don’t try what I need to find out if you have a purpose. It was a huge mistake what I did,nand is not safe.
Yes, I am different but I’ve realized I’m different in a good way.
Being different is creative. As I began to take more pride in what made me different. I began to research other people who went against the norms.
I’ve discovered that artists, innovators and other people who changed the world. They often felt excluded from the popular kids group at school.
They had the courage and resilience to put their ideas
They had the courage to take the risk of being judged, and the resilience to try again when they were. Some made it big in their case of creativity that rooted in differences.
You, too have value hidden in your differences
Though we may never escaped all judgement, we can learn to value our own unique perspective. At least we can stop judging ourselves.