I’m life coach Peter Winslow, here with a personal question for you: have you ever felt like a misfit, the odd-person-out, turd in the punchbowl, black sheep of the family?
I know this has happened with many of you: you've joined the family for a holiday get-together and taken your seat at the dinner table. You look at the people around you and there doesn’t seem to be a "black sheep" among them. Congratulations! You're it.
For some, “being different” is an ill feeling that can last a lifetime. We may even feel like a misfit in the groups and affiliations that are fully supportive of us, let alone those which aren't.
Even when we steer clear of the criticisms and hostilities they hurl, we can sense the moments when friends and relatives seem all too eager for us to "outgrow it." This should not be taken as a sign that you and they have failed to connect in a meaningful way; it's the organic result of a process which exemplifies the courage needed to articulate your unique individuality.
Many misfits respond by withdrawing from the people with whom they might otherwise be closest. Usually they'll seek out a different group in which they feel less judged about who they are. If this is you, I ask you to consider an ancient Eastern riddle: What if you made the choice long ago to come together with certain people in this lifetime to create the challenges necessary for your own spiritual evolution?
Your detractors are no longer considered catalysts of conflict. By accepting the players and the roles they fulfill, you can develop gratitude for what they provide you on your own journey of personal growth. That makes your individuality much easier to express and a whole lot more fun.