Ever Belonged On The Island Of Misfit Toys?

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Having heard this reference more than once this week, it got me thinking…

There have been times in the past, I definitely felt I was a resident on the island of misfit something-or-others.

The misfits. Those who ‘feel’ they don’t belong, perhaps they’re different, unique and just don’t conform, to the standards around them.

Misfits create their own standards. Well, once they grow the confidence to not give two shits about what anyone else thinks…and that in reality, there’s really nothing wrong with them. (No more than anyone else)

Freedom expressed or unexpressed is a state of mind.

Personally, I’ve always sucked at conforming, and still do.

It’s not a form of rebellion per se, it’s more of a feeling inside of my body, of my guts being ripped out, when having to pretend to be someone else….okay,  perhaps not so harsh, but faking it to fit in, is something I’m pretty much incapable of doing.

Fitting in for some can be described as suffocating, and provoking extreme anxiety. The idea of capitulating where it doesn’t allow for their individuality is painful and yet, there’s still the desire to know they’re okay. The struggle has more than likely been there since childhood; the ability to accept themselves.

People that subscribe to their being different, change the world….just by being who they are and living the full expression of that self.

When we live that way, we’re no longer in our minds, labeled a misfit; we see our individuality.

None of us have to go out of our way to be unique, it’s those of us who allow our ‘real self’ to show through…who create our lives from that place, rather than hide it, as many do. For some they cannot seem to help it, they were taught there’s a lot of shame in being who they are–so they conform; they fit in…they’re afraid of loss.

Loss of love….validation…identity…finances….comfort…relationships….achievement….and so on.

Misfits questioning the norm or what’s taught to them as a belief of someone else, usually find something inside, which shows them other truths are available; creating their own perception. It releases them to go after what their souls deepest desires are, and as a result, they imbue change and find true personal meaning in their lives.

Not that people who conform don’t find meaning, it’s just a different set of values.

In several instances, misfits may have felt, as though they’ve been on the outside looking in; their point of view is different.

They realize so many societal concepts and perhaps, what works for other people, doesn’t work for them.

The key is in acceptance. Instead of trying to conform or beat themselves up over who they are not, it’s to accept what’s contrary.

Acceptance means we don’t have to fear our uniqueness.

Fear of being judged no longer exists. People will judge no matter what we say or do, so why not be exactly who we are?

For some of us, that’s a major part of the journey, unearthing who we are and what makes us tick. We may have buried our uniqueness decades ago, only to now, feel a deeper sense of unrest within us that is vague and difficult to pinpoint.

Our limitations, because of the fear within, can keep us feeling like a misfit, even if we appear to join in well within our peers and other groups.

Each individual shines a light when they discard the chains of living an identity that doesn’t suit them. In serving the world, if we show up doing what makes us happy, we have more to give. We open up to a whole different perspective, instead of our fearful one that we’ll be all alone if we choose ourselves.

A Perfect Life

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What is a perfect life?

Usually the definition we give to someone else. A life we observe and think, ‘wow’ they have it all!

Many of us may not compare out of jealousy or envy, we may be looking to someone as an image of a goal that we want too. Or, we can use the comparison to beat ourselves up with and constantly feel less deserving.

We may even feel like we’re a complete and total failure when we look at someone who we think has it more together, got lucky or seems to live a charmed existence.

The perfect life only has validity as allowing our imperfections (and life’s curveballs) to co-exist with what we deem good enough. It’s to accept the whole as is and see the beauty.

Once we accept things as they are, right now, we can then look at what we want to create from there (otherwise the focus is on what isn’t working) and live into that goal.

For a reality check, into what we deem ‘perfect’ is usually far off the mark. We know this is true, every time a new story about a public figure with their carefully constructed image, has been turned on its head.

For many of us, we can look in our own neighborhoods, Facebook, the office or anywhere in the world for carefully constructed images that are really less than true.

Living a life of a carefully designed image is actually one of quiet desperation.

It takes a lot of energy to pretend and there is the constant pursuit for what will fill the void, which in turn creates a wider gap from who the person really is, and who they display themselves to be.

And sometimes these same people may confess the partial truth or something, which makes them seem more attainable to connect with, only to have them quickly withdraw back into their carefully cultivated images.

Often the people we idealize, who we think live a perfect Facebook post life (I heard this somewhere and thought it was pretty funny) are often not really living what they post 24/7. They have their own crap too.

Everyone has crap, it’s been said and yet what is it that makes us think someone else’s crap is less toxic than our own?

Perhaps, someone is more successful than us in certain parts of their lives (or it just looks more successful). Realistically, there’s something to be said for luck, timing, and being in the right place at the right time. Not that it’s the entire picture, because to achieve luck, we have to be ‘open’ to opportunities, which might be a risk.

A risk in getting out of our comfort zone.

Something, which may look unfamiliar and not like a true opportunity, could be the game changer for us. And yet, some of us will keep right on playing it safe, stuck in the discomfort of what we already know.

Fear is a fucker.

People with carefully constructed images live in a lot of fear too. We all experience it, because we’re human, the difference is to live a perfect life we must be authentically who we are…living our truth.

Authenticity leads us to wholeness, which in turn creates a perfect life, not an idealized version or everything we touch turns to gold, but one we can just own and love it!

A perfect life has nothing to do with what we own or what we present to the world.

A perfect life may include the following:

1. Acceptance and forgiveness: Really accepting all of our mistakes; decisions we made from fear or lack and everything that never worked out and then forgiving it.

2. Love: Once we do number 1, number 2 is easier…we see the flaws in others and love them for it too. The more love we have for ourselves, the more compassion we have for the world.

3. Honesty: First figure out what you deny, push away or don’t want to admit to yourself….and then live that truth. Hardest on this list to do for some of us.

4. Fun: Daily.

5. Doing what you love everyday, even if it is for 10 minutes. It keeps us connected to our internal joy.

6. Making happiness our own responsibility: It is not the validation of others, which leads to a perfect life…if anything this will keep us settling for the small and perhaps, bread crumbs we’ve learned to survive on regularly. It’s to create the boundaries, which matter and we live to them first. Deciding our YES and our NO based on our desires, not pleasing someone at our expense–so they give us back something (or owe us); it gives clarity.

7. Let go. Whatever you beat yourself up with or hold hostage….release it. Get rid of the image of perfection as an idealized life.

Whatever we resist persists, so as long as we stand against something it will continue to be the issue and hold our focus. A perfect life is to be completely in love with it all, no matter where we currently stand.

Self Acceptance. The Biggest Struggle!

For years I thought a state of perfection was attainable..and that once I reached it, my life would work. I would be okay and could then accept myself.

I have a myriad of excuses as to why I didn’t deserve my own love. It kept me in a constant state if stress and pain. It did not help me to achieve fulfilling success, if anything it just screwed me up more….it set me on a journey to fix myself.

Yep…I thought I could fix my fatal flaw, whatever that was and along the way…I learned something about the goal. Clearly, there’s no state of perfection. It was a whacked out goal that could NEVER bring me happiness.

I stopped seeking and started accepting myself…all the hard bits and pieces. We’re all okay just the way we are…today. Not our future self, but our present self….

Happiness, Truth and Sucking it up!

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How difficult is it to express what is true for us to people who really matter in our life?

I’m not talking statements with exclamation points, I’m talking about our deepest truths.

This is where we get stuck.  

We overthink or calculate how to express what we need in a way that focuses on the outcome. Whenever we focus on the outcome of our statement, it’s manipulated and therefore is not entirely the truth.

We worry about the reception of our words rather than the content.

Tact, compassion or kindness toward others is fine, but it should never color our truth. When stating things, we may be so caught up in pleasing other people, that we say nothing of what we feel is true for ourselves.

Unfortunately, making someone else happy at our own expense is a short-lived “peace.” A smooth-over meant to keep things at a status quo, as to not upset the apple cart. People in relationships may believe when things are going well, they shouldn’t rock the boat with their truth.

It’s actually the best time.

If you’re stating your truth all along, as you feel it, you’re not turning the  apple cart upside down; instead, you’re just moving a few apples around.

Sometimes we’re so afraid of the impact of our honesty that we suck it up or push it down. This leads us to feeling depressed, immobilized, angry or resentful. We may even place blame on the other person, as though our inner life is created by them.

It’s not. It’s where our focus is, “If only George, could really hear me or stop that behavior, everything would be hunky dory.”

We do this, because of our own conditioning and patterns. We may have learned to withhold the truth, because of others’ reactions to it and then we personalize what they say or do to have meaning inside of us.

It only has meaning if we give it meaning and why would we give more meaning to someone else’s state of being than our own?

Because…

If we start to actually give meaning to our own feelings, what we want and what we see as our own truth…it means change will happen.

Change is scary and for many, they feel the comfort of staying stuck in misery rather than venturing into the unknown of self-expression.

We may be so afraid of losing the person in front of us that we swallow our truth constantly. We may fear abandonment, what if this person who we’ve given control over own well-being leaves…what will become of us?

I’m not kidding, it’s why some of us don’t speak up or we stay past the “sell by” date.

When we start to express ourselves, it may come as a whisper. Then as we feel more confident in our own feelings, good or bad, we speak it firmly….then, as we feel whole, loving and open, we match words with action. We uphold and honor our words with action, which reflects our truth.

Realize, inauthenticity brings loss. Our lies or covering the truth to keep another happy, will backfire and leave another feeling betrayed. 

Feel excited to no longer limit our thoughts and words to mistakenly believe we control making another happy; OWN our bliss now!

Begin today on expressing what is truth:

1. Get real with those voices in our head. The voice is always there telling us truth. Write it down.

2. Recognize the worst case scenario. What is the worst thing to happen if we express our truth? Own it and embrace it.

3. Start small. Start with people who are on the outer ring of intimacy in our lives first. Then move the circle inwards. Say a truth, “I know I’ve been saying I love your spaghetti, but I’ve decided to be honest. I’m not a huge spaghetti fan, I just didn’t want to disappoint you, I should’ve spoke up sooner.”

4. Go bigger. Say something that is true for you to your mate. “I am afraid that if I continue to not speak up, our relationship will be over. Please know when I speak my truth, its toward an honest resolution.” Take action to uphold it. Example: When someone calls us names…we have a choice, stay and state that if it continues we are gone…or just leave.

Know that we are not changing someone else’s mind or convincing them, we are stating our truth. Period. It’s gratifying, it allows us to be tactful, compassionate and kind in our communication.

When we’re immobilized, stuck and don’t know what to do….stop and listen for the voice…it’s telling us what has been true all along.