September 26, 2023

“A flower doesn’t consider competing with the flower subsequent to it. It simply blooms.” – Zen Shin

Prior to now, I typically felt like I didn’t belong in teams of ladies.

Typically I felt like one thing was mistaken with me, like I used to be othered in a technique or one other: too sporty, too quiet, too critical, too emotional, too dumb, too good, too wild, too regular, too sexual, too prude.

Different occasions, I felt like one thing was mistaken with all of them. Ladies’ nights and bachelorette events? The screeching voices, the loud laughs, the mundane conversations about make-up, skincare routines, and lip injections? No thanks.

I needed so badly to belong however didn’t see a spot for myself. I felt like I wasn’t doing the entire lady factor the precise manner. I discovered it simpler to hold with the blokes.

However now? I’ve discovered that nothing is mistaken with me (otherwise you), and hanging out with a gaggle of ladies makes me really feel all heat and fuzzy inside. 🙂

What shifted?

First, I finished evaluating myself to others.

These “toos” I discussed above, and that so many people really feel, are often a product of that ever so insidious lure of comparability. It’s a lure as a result of we get caught in a adverse thought loop, smothered by jealousy, anxiousness, and self-criticism, which in the end causes a fissure of separation, between ourselves and others.

If we use different individuals and exterior requirements as a barometer, we are going to at all times discover ourselves being “too” one thing, which makes for a really disruptive and tumultuous inside expertise. For me, it signifies that I’ve spent a few years feeling insecure and ungrounded in who I’m. It means I typically acted as a chameleon and altered my vitality primarily based on who I used to be round, so I may “slot in.”

However now, I don’t do this. (Okay, I nonetheless do it generally, however manner much less typically.) I’ve discovered that there isn’t a “proper” solution to be a girl, or a human. We’re every distinctive people with our personal personalities, wishes, fears, and preferences, and the distinctiveness of all of us makes the world a lot extra fascinating and exquisite.

Second, I shifted away from judgment and towards curiosity.

Throughout my younger grownup years, I used to be very judgmental. I went from considering that one thing was mistaken with me to considering that I used to be higher than all the opposite ladies. I believed ladies talked an excessive amount of about floor degree issues and folks. My ego began to create tales of separateness: me over right here eager to ponder existential questions and speak about feelings, and them over there who needed to gossip, snigger too loudly, and speak about make-up and boys.

Now, as a substitute of judging the “floor degree” conversations (which nonetheless happen), I’m inquisitive about them.

Why do ladies spend a lot time discussing our weight, clothes, waxing habits, and skincare rituals? As a result of we’ve got been force-fed the idea that we’re insufficient the way in which we’re. We’re informed that we’ve got to purchase this or that product if we need to be lovely. We’re informed we’ve got to be skinny if we need to be liked. So it’s no surprise we spend a lot time considering and speaking about issues of bodily look.

By switching from judgment to curiosity, I’ve realized that such discussions are literally not floor degree in any respect. They’re reflective of deep wishes to belong, to be liked, and to be accepted.

Third, I demoted my ego.

My ego informed me that I used to be the one lady that felt othered. That I used to be distinctive in my feeling like I didn’t belong. That I used to be particular not directly as a result of I needed to have “deeper” conversations. That’s such BS!

I’ve now discovered that I used to be by no means distinctive in feeling like I didn’t belong. Most ladies, and folks, yearn to peel again the layers and join with each other in a  deep, wealthy manner, however we discover ourselves caught in a performative function, making an attempt to indicate up how society has informed us to.

Many people have erected partitions round our hearts, minds, and our bodies to guard the susceptible, uncooked, delicate components of us. To guard the components of us that we discovered weren’t protected to precise or had been unlikeable. However we need to let others in.

Lastly, I additionally began listening to the sage recommendation from philosophers, non secular leaders, and laypeople throughout centuries.

I began heeding their knowledge, which may be summed up as: you have got every part you want inside you.

I began to deepen my connection to myself, understanding that the issue I used to be experiencing, specifically the sensation of being othered and never belonging, may solely be solved by first turning inward. I’ve deepened my connection to myself via dance, breathwork, journaling, meditating, and taking part in. I’ve began to uncover who I’m and who I need to be, versus making an attempt to suit right into a mildew of what I feel a girl, or a human, is meant to be.

In my journey of releasing comparability, igniting curiosity, demoting my ego, and turning inward, I’ve additionally discovered that:

You aren’t too something.

This doesn’t imply that you’re good, or that you haven’t any alternatives to develop and increase. Nevertheless it does imply that there isn’t a “proper” solution to be, besides the way in which that’s true and protected for you.

Usually when individuals say you might be “too ___,” it’s a reflection of their very own insecurities.

“You’re too emotional” may imply, “I’ve not discovered to precise my feelings, and your vulnerability makes me uncomfortable.” “You’re too loud” may imply, “I’m not totally expressing myself, and I’m jealous of your skill to precise your self confidently.”

You aren’t alone in your want to belong.

It’s doubtless that what you feel, others have felt sooner or later. Once you bear in mind this, you might be reminded that you’re not alone. The journey of self-discovery ultimately results in a sense of oneness, as a result of we absolve the phantasm of self and separateness and start to see our connectedness, our shared fears and wishes. You know the way it goes, we’re all product of stardust, child!

Once you begin to specific the truest components of your self, it’s an act of management.

As a result of in doing so, you present a permission slip for others to do the identical. This doesn’t imply you anticipate everybody to precise themselves in the identical manner as you, however relatively that all of us begin to specific the bizarre, distinctive, quirky, true components of ourselves. And that’s what the world wants extra of.

So, right here’s to much less judgment, extra curiosity; much less separateness, extra connectedness; much less worry, extra love.