Part 2/3: Reflections for the New Year


We are all born equal but we are also uniquely and divinely crafted. We are incredibly and exquisitely different.

There was a time when we fully accepted ourselves. As children, we naturally opened up and let a bit of our “weirdness” out. Until somewhere along the way, someone told us: “No, put that away. You are weird and I don’t like it.” (Maybe not in those words but you get the point.) We were REJECTED. Put your weirdness away. You will be accepted if you’re just like everyone.

Meanwhile, what no one seemed to realize was that the very person who told you to hide your weirdness was, at one point, told the very same thing about their own individuality. So in fact, the vicious cycle of rejection is really about the other: “If you are just like me then I am validated.” That insecurity is infectious because once someone tells you to hide your weirdness and fit in, labels are created and conformity sets in. The need for approval and affirmation drive every move you make. From then on, your decisions become fear-based because you don’t want to make others “feel bad” or “feel uncomfortable.” And for sure, no person wants to be unloved or unimportant.

So in order to avoid this rejection from recurring, we put our weirdness away, hate ourselves for it, and vow to never open up again… And then go around telling other people to “put their weird” away, too.

The thing is, your weirdness is also your gift to this aching world. Your weirdness is like sunshine that cuts through all these confining rules of society. Weirdness is so simple. It’s not what you do — it’s the YOU that you bring to what you do.

This “YOU-ness” sparks joy and creativity, it can also ignite change and inspiration. It can bring about liberation and fearlessness. When you feel isolated and you’ve put up walls to protect yourself from the fears of being rejected, remember the millions of others who are feeling the same way that you do. We are all connected. We all feel deeply and we all crave to be loved.

This much I know — there is no greater love than the peace that sits within the stillness of our hearts. I think goodness is fundamentally in everyone. Deep inside, no human being wants to be seen as ‘bad” and it is everyone’s greatest fear to be rejected, to feel unimportant. By nature, we all just want to be happy. To love and be loved. By recognizing that we all have the same fears and hopes, more or less, it becomes easier to see through eyes of compassion. We all have that power. To remind each other that we matter. To understand more deeply why people act and react the way they do. We accept ourselves just as we are and therefore we don’t have to change the people around us to fit into our mold.