I’ve never fit in. I’ve never quite belonged in a given group, in my culture, in society, and not even in my family of origin for the most part. I’ve always felt different—I didn’t see things the way others did, didn’t enjoy what the norm seemed to enjoy, didn’t like dressing like others did, can’t stand shopping in malls where everyone else shops, don’t like vacationing where most like to vacation (or when!), don’t like following the path that might be expected, don’t like conforming to someone else’s rules, won’t put up with what most people do—and find it ridiculous to do so—, and basically won’t participate in most dramas of the human condition like many do.
And yet, I spent most of my early life trying to find where I fit– and got nowhere.
Being part of the human condition somehow ‘conditions’ us to believe that we should follow the pack—that we should look, behave, perceive, and act on life the way that others do. It tells us that to be different is to somehow be wrong. It tells us that there is something wrong with us if we question or act against the norm. It tells us that we are the black sheep if we question something that is immoral or unhealthy despite what others may think. It tells us we are “odd” if we become outliers from the majority thought process, no matter how archaic or antiquated that thought process might be. It conditions us to believe that our soul could not possibly be right in pursuing what we need and want in lieu of what society believes is in our best interest.
I have found, though, that when I try to fit in, my world blows up. And not in a good way. When I got married because that’s what everyone else does, I was miserable. When I accepted a job that everyone would want, I hated it. When I tried to dress like those in the fashion magazines, I felt like an imposter. When I contained myself instead of speaking out, I got sick. I have learned the hard way that to fit in is often the path to losing yourself—to losing touch with your soul.
I no longer want to miss—or dismiss my soul. Years ago, I vowed to be true to myself and I am still learning what that means today. I continue to learn what it means to speak my truth. I continue to learn about who I am… and who I am not. I continue to explore new ideas, behaviors, and thoughts to see how they fit with me. I continue to shed the things —and even people—that don’t fit when necessary. I continue to realize that the more I try to fit in, the less I ever will. Because to artificially fit yourself into something only causes harm to your soul, and distances you from feeling at home and aligned with you.
You haven’t found where you fit if:
- You are trying too hard to fit into something or with someone.
- You are acting as if something feels natural.
- You feel worse after engaging in something or with someone than you did just prior.
- It feels like work to fit in to a social group, work environment, or even your own family.
- You constantly feel like an imposter of life.
- You feel like you should be happy with your life according to what society says, but are not.
- You feel like you should be working harder to fit into the social norm in one way or another.
- You are still wondering where you fit.
Working to fit in is often the path to self-destruction much more so than simply honoring yourself and embracing your uniqueness. We are all unique individuals, and more importantly, we are all unique souls. To try to fit a jagged peg into a round hole will only create dis-ease within our soul. And I, for one, have had enough of that.
I finally figured out where I fit. And much to my surprise it was nowhere that I had been looking. Instead of finding where I fit outside of myself, I began to look within. I finally came to understand that I had to fit with “me” before I could fit with anyone or anything else. I realized that to embrace my uniqueness, my individuality, my idiosyncrasies, my imperfections, and my quirkiness as well as my gifts, talents, strengths, and successes, was the process of creating the perfect fit. It wasn’t others who made me feel out of place, it was my unacceptance of me that did. And the funny thing is, once I learned to embrace the many facets of what makes me “me”, I realized that I didn’t want to fit in. I didn’t want to join the norm. I just wanted to be me.
I tried to fit in and I failed. And my soul is much healthier and happier for having done so.
Figure out where you fit… but start your search inward.