The other day, I got a very interesting question from a friend, on a topic I think many struggle with right now. Therefor I decided to give my answer in a blog post, and hopefully it will be useful for others as well.
My friend asked:
Is it never difficult for you to be part of “the normal world”, and yet see so many things that others cannot? If so, how do you handle that?
At the moment I am on a roller coaster between the old and the new. It feels difficult to be laughed at, when believing in something that others do not.
My immediate answer is – Sweetie, of course it is difficult!
But that is not very helpful, so I will expand a little on how I see things.
Everyone I ever have had a true and sincere conversation with, has at some point expressed that they have struggled with not feeling accepted for who they really are (whether that is because of level of education, gender, race, sexual preferences interests, political view etc. etc.). I have also heard in these conversations, the deep longing for being seen, heard and respected without prejudice.
I would guess that in us all there is a specific area in life, where we feel like an outcast. My area has been my spirituality and the side-effects, generated by my “over-developed, intuitive muscle”. I have seen, heard and felt things around people that they have not been ready to sense themselves. My ability to sometimes see beyond our present and into the future, has been threatening to some. How I have perceived cause and effect, the conclusions I have drawn and my opinions about how to handle the present, has come from a very different standpoint than theirs. My entire worldview has collided with theirs. In that collision quite a few have become angry with me or made fun of me.
During periods of my life, I have felt utterly alone, and even wondered if I actually am a little bit mad, since I have seen things so differently, than the people around me.
With time, I have realised that there is so much to learn from these situations, even if some of the lessons have been very painful to experience. When I finally began to understand what was happening, it was like most of these awkward interactions stopped. Though, I want to add, it is still very much a work in progress.
Every person is a wonderful, chaotic and contradictory bag of many things. That bag is filled with beliefs, memories, opinions, experiences, fears, hopes and dreams – a lot of “personal stuff” we could say. I get a picture in my mind, of the dust bag in my vacuum cleaner, that now and then needs to be changed. To retrieve the treasures that might have ended up there by mistake, it needs to be opened and examined, before thrown away (at least I do that).
When we have an interaction with someone, it is their collection of dirt, dust and treasures that is interacting with us – and we are translating it through our own content in our dust bag.
My own experience is that the more fear and instinct that drives a person, the less effort the person in front of me has spent on getting to know themselves (the “good” and the “bad”), and the harsher their judgement.
The bad news
The bad news is, that it is not very much we can do about their reaction towards us. We can talk to them, have healthy boundaries, but we cannot really change anyone else. They have their worldview, and they will keep it until something makes them change and shift from within. And think about it, if their reaction to you leaves you in pain, in doubt or in shame – it might not even be about you, at all! Maybe you just happened to be in their way.
The good news
The good news is that we can use these experiences to learn a lot about ourselves. We can take a closer look at our own bag of beliefs, memories, opinions, experiences, fears, hopes and dreams. How does their reaction to us, make us feel?
We and the people we have in our life, hold up mirrors to each other. When someone holds that mirror up – by reacting to us – what do we see? If their reaction to us make us feel miserable what does that tell us? Do we need to stand up for ourselves? Do we need to learn to have more acceptance for the worldview of others? Do we need to let go of that hunger for acceptance from everyone? Do we need to find new friends, who are not “dirt-bags”?
If we take a look at what is happening objectively, beyond the hurt, what do we need to heal, shift, change or sooth in ourselves? There we have something to work on, that can make a lot of difference.
My experience and belief (which might be very different from yours 😉 ) is that we are part of an everlasting expansion and change. Life helps us become more and more conscious about who we are – which is light and love, even if some of it is hidden beneath dust and dirt. That process is messy and sometimes very painful and raw, but it will eventually help us learn to make the better choices, to love ourselves, to love others (but not on our own expense) and to be true.
To my friend I would like to say:
Each one of us have our personal pace of expansion, change and even our very individual sense of direction. It is totally depending on that bag I mentioned earlier. Maybe it is as simple as you being out of sync with the people around you. You have expanded and changed quicker than them, and feel drawn in a direction where they do now want to go. Now you need to find others, people who “get you”, with a worldview in harmony with yours.
There is one more thing that I would like to add to this – it is always difficult when we are in the middle of a big shift within, because the old and the new is equally present. There is a way to use that position constructively too – as a point of reference. Do a comparison – what feels good, what does not, inside you?
My advice is to follow your sense of well-being, go towards those who make you feel understood, respected and welcomed for who you are. If you have not found that tribe yet, continue searching. I hope this has been helpful for you 🙂
Lots of love,