I’m thinking a lot at the moment about my life and my experience. I guess I’ve always been the same. It’s always preoccupied me how I be part of the whole without losing my individuality.
Wondering how to fit in is an insidious past-time. It becomes an obsession – what others think of us, how we will be judged, whether we will be rejected.
It causes us to lead fearful and sometimes paralysed existences.
Much better then to be fit – for our own purpose.
And in my understanding this means figuring out how to be our best self. How to become aware of what drives us and inspires us; how to weigh our strengths and weaknesses, and how to figure out what we should do about these.
Do we blow our trumpet about our strengths to drown out our weaknesses? Do we justify our weaknesses and attribute them to our less than perfect life experiences? Do we blame others for them?
I’ve frequently read some very wise words about how to deal with our weaknesses. Namely, we need to accept them, and, if we’re brave enough, dive into them to see what is under the surface of them.
What needs are being expressed through our weaknesses?
Once we get that far we have a bit of a conundrum. Perhaps our needs are unconventional. Perhaps we might start worrying that fully owning our needs will cause us to be ostracised by society.
It’s tempting to allow external judgements to cause us to stifle and deny our needs. It is also important to remember that our own ego will taunt us with its own souped-up version of external judgements to keep us stuck and towing the line.
But if we’ve explored our weaknesses reflectively and honestly, in a way that is true to who we are, then we can begin to imagine how best to fulfil our needs in their entirety, without compromising our best self.
As reflective writers, our journal is absolutely the laboratory for this kind of investigation.
Our life experience becomes the dance between fitting in and being fit for our own purpose. Our journal is the place where we can test our thoughts and imagine a life lived according to what we think, rather than what we think others think.
(I love the image of the jigsaw pieces by Hans Peter Gauster on Unsplash. It is a great metaphor for our uniqueness. And the notion that unless we know all our edges and curves and irregularities we can never know exactly where or how we fit in. But that when we boldly show all of our shape it becomes obvious who we are and that we are the only one who can complete the picture.)