Do you ever feel odd? Or better yet, have you ever been accused of being odd, or maybe even weird? I imagine it didn't feel very good. That feeling of not fitting in or not meeting expectations can be quite painful; especially when the accusation is coming from someone you love and whose opinion matters to you. But what is this all about?
Fitting in is deeply wired into our psyches. For thousands of years we needed to be part of a tribe. Conformity took precedence over individuality as a matter of survival. We may not be living in tribal times anymore, but we are still wired this way; our need to fit in and have others do so as well remains in full effect.
For a moment though, take a look at all the great spiritual leaders and most of the truly creative people throughout history. They all, in their own way, did not fit in. They expressed opinions and behaved in ways which were outside the norm. They drew attention to themselves as being different. Imagine what it was like for Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr, for Leonardo daVinci, Beethoven and even Jesus. In their lifetimes they were often ostracized, thought of as weird and even dangerous! Imagine the courage they had to persevere, to keep going in the direction of what they knew was true.
Perhaps being odd, even feeling odd is a good thing! Perhaps it is pointing us in the direction of our truth, and our dharma. Perhaps being different is a good thing. Perhaps conformity is over-rated, and even to a certain extent unnecessary in this day and age. Perhaps diminishing ourselves so that others feel ok does not best serve the world.
Explore your differences and what distinguishes you, and remember when someone judges you it is their stuff! You can choose to take it on as yours, or kindly, compassionately follow the road less traveled.
Your choice makes all the difference.