Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt lonely?
This is an experience I have often. I’m not great in big groups. When I was younger I thrived on it, but now I much prefer to connect with people on a deeper level.
This can be incredibly uncomfortable for we all have an intrinsic need to belong. Whether in big groups or one on ones, we are all social creatures with tribal roots and yet despite living in closer proximity to each other, our sense of isolation is increasing.
We are now living within more restrictive social groups than ever before. Most of us are surrounded by people just like us, from our workplaces to our communities to online lives, we create bubbles of homogenisation the world over. You could visit a city in Spain or Australia and find the same fashions, the same magazines and the same restaurants, with people trying desperately to fit in.
Yet as we marginalise ourselves it’s harder to individuate. Though there are polarised opinions, they exist within their own echo chambers so the groups we exist in are largely caricatures of the same thing and it becomes painful to stand out. This is dangerous, for without differentiation we encourage the ‘us versus them’ attitudes that breed the anger and contempt that is prevalent in modern day society.
I felt like the black sheep in my family. An only child, my parents remarried and had their own offspring as I was heading into adulthood so I was the only one in my family within my generation.
This was perhaps the start of my loneliness, but also a gift in that I learnt early to individuate. I coach people on being authentic and that means being an individual. The beautiful thing about being a human is that there are no two that are the same.
I am outspoken yet at times shy, outwardly confident and inwardly vulnerable, curious as well as private and often feel strong and afraid at the same time. I’m creative and logical, impatient as well as efficient and joyful yet serious.
I am addicted to nature while living in the inner city, I live for the mystical yet I’m surrounded by many who barely give a thought to it and my exploration of past lives and the unknown is as passionate as my indulgence in fine dining and late nights.
We each have a unique imprint. Sometimes I think we’ve forgotten that as I hear the fear behind making decisions that my clients know will feed their soul.
What makes you unique? How can you celebrate it?
I still feel the yearning to belong, in fact sometimes I think it’s greater than most, and I question that when I write, when I speak, or anytime I put my opinion out into the world, but I‘ve learnt that when I speak my own truth it sets a part of me free.
As Marianne Williamson says, “No one benefits from you making yourself small.” In a world where the differences between us are being squeezed into boxes we need more of us willing to go against the grain, to stand for whatever our hearts believe in, no matter the consequences.
Not everyone will agree and not everyone will follow, but the cost of shrinking is far greater than the discomfort of growing, and only when we choose to step into a bigger version of ourselves do we create the chance for others to do the same.