I often think about identity, persona and how we see ourselves. In my book Toxic Rainbows, I talk about how I felt early on that I was different, not the fact that I was a minority, but that my thinking was not quite the same as most and I saw that the brilliance in our differences and how standing out from the crowd was not a bad thing. But accepting our uniqueness is sometimes a hard thing to appreciate in a world where people are bullied and shamed for being true to themselves or even ridiculed for their physical differences.
Like most people, I suffered through bouts of insecurity and anxiety, much of which was rooted to my feelings of not having the ‘right’ experiences or background. I learned that pressures imposed by society can make us forget who we are and literally obliterate the love that we should have for ourselves.
We do ourselves a huge disservice when we allow ourselves to become victims to the cruelties of the deeply insecure people out there who try to make us look bad or to feel bad about ourselves.
Years ago I was asked the oft asked question, “What is your spirit animal?” I responded immediately, ‘The Ostrich”.
The ostrich is awkward and can’t fly, but it runs incredibly fast. It’s legs are powerful and can kick the crap out of the haters. It’s feathers may be useless for flight, but they are beautiful and luxurious. The ostrich stands out on its own as being remarkably unique in the bird family and as an animal in general and like all creatures, it succeeds purely on being itself.
Birds of Envy. If we were to embrace our inner ostrich, dodo bird or platypus, we would be positioning ourselves as strong, untouchable individuals. I don’t mean that you should go out and dye your hair blue, because that doesn’t cut it anymore. I mean..BE YOU. Warts and all, you are meant to shine for what you have going on in your mind and in your heart. There is no one like you and that’s something everyone can be grateful for.
I’ve been writing a lot about change as it’s associated with our personal growth and there is much to be said on this subject, but for now I just wanted to drop a quick thought that occurred to me about it.
We’ve all heard about being fearless and taking risks that test our boundaries of comfort. We do things to gain strength and overcome the fear itself. But it occurred to me that the greatest fear that most people have is not something like asking someone out on a date, standing up for ourselves or merging into fast moving traffic. Our greatest fears lie in honestly confronting ourselves.
Confronting ourselves requires a dedication in wanting to make changes that we know deeply effect our thinking, reasoning and emotions. It means understanding ourselves better, it means addressing feelings and issues that may be uncomfortable and unpleasant.
We fear the secrets we keep buried deep down and if we’re honest, we know that by understanding our deeper selves some of our current beliefs and feelings will change. We instinctively know that a paradigm shift can be painful and disruptive, but in order to elevate ourselves and grow in a way that improves our lives and relationships, we must do that work.
So when we think about confronting our fears, let’s start with the big one and ask ourselves those hard questions. What is important? What is my purpose? Why do I feel the way I do? Why do I react the way I do? What really matters to me? Am I happy? Am I being honest with myself?
And always remember, you are never alone.
SOURCE: Samhain, #6.
You might gather by my use of the imagery above that this is not necessarily a fuzzy rainbows and group hug New Age spirituality blog. Like tough love, tough graphics work to get a point across too so time and again I will likely be using some unconventional visuals to accompany my writing.
When I came across this photo from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser it reminded me of why I started doing the work that I’m doing.
When you become more in tune with your true inner being; when awareness shifts and your priorities change, more meaning can be gathered from your every day experiences. Subtlties scream out. You begin to see people a bit differently and sense something about them that maybe they are not even aware of. You start to see the dissatisfaction around you. There is a sense of loss that people exude. They think the emptiness can be filled by jumping on causes, binge watching tv, downloading a new App or getting more ‘likes’ on a post. It’s a never ending battle to find and express meaning in a world where our digital cries for attention are replaced by something else within seconds of our putting them out there.
Besides the hellish digital world in which we live, I have started to feel as if hell really is on earth. From hateful music and horrible television programming that is passed off as entertainment, to the casual sexualizing of children and the constant calls for violence and fear mongering in the news and on late night, it’s enough to make you pause and wonder. How did we become so desensitized to violence and so quick to desregard the thoughts and opinions of others in favor of expressing our displeasure in everything? Is it the meds, programming or simply a distraction from doing what really needs to be done? (And we know what that is.)
When I was a kid in the 80s, a holdover line from the late-70s was ‘Kill the Hippies!’. Back then it was funny, it was a joke that nobody would every actually follow through on, it was punk rock. Now we’ve lost our sense of humor as well as our reasoning.
Let’s rise above the cesspool, find that person deep within and nuture him or her. Give your love and attention to the person that matters most, you. Let’s come to some conclusions and understanding by consulting ourselves. Let’s understand our motives and feelings. Let’s use our reasoning abilities and cognitive skills instead of acting out emotionally. We need to find our purpose and get a better understanding of why we are here in the first place.
Things in the world will never be perfect, but we can at least try to get to a place that feels better within ourselves and it’s not going to happen when we focus on everything else besides what’s going on within–and that’s the work that needs to be done.