Have you ever had that experience of being the outsider? Feeling excluded from the group, you just don’t fit it, and cannot connect as seemingly easy as others seem to do?
I have. Most of my life, as a child, a teenager, in my twenties, and even now and then I have this experience where I’m just on the outside of what others are ‘in on’. Like I somehow am the one looking in, standing outside of the group, or the conversation. The experience has varied throughout my life. In my twenties I suppressed the feeling by participating in social norms like going out drinking, and going to parties, putting on the facade of creating relationships with others, like I was a part of something, though of course, it wasn’t real and just pretend in a way to deny the actual experience which was when I was alone, or sober, I felt as if I wasn’t a part of anything really.
In the last few years an interesting realization came up though. I was standing again in a group setting, where I was a part of a group – there was work for us to do, relationships to build, different projects to partake in, and yet I still saw others as part of the click I didn’t get the special invite to. What I realized though in this situation was that it wasn’t actually them that were causing this feeling…. That they were not the problem, and I actually had the power to change this.
Here I was thinking others had it easy – they seem to socialize easier, were more comfortable in group settings, and in that, shined even so stood out among everyone. And so I felt excluded… that others paid more attention to other people. That I was on the outs because I wasn’t like the ‘cool’ kids (lol, like in school all over again). I suppose I was still playing the popularity game, and I wasn’t winning.
Again though, what I was to realize that there was nothing being done to me by the group. There was nothing the group was doing to specifically exclude me or make me feel like I was on the outside. There was nothing any one individual was even doing to make this my experience…. It was all inside of me. And so looking at this experience, and the situation I realized this….
If I wanted to be included, and no longer feel like I’m separated, or on the outs of the group, I had to include myself. I had to be the one to make the decision to approach the group, to engage in conversation, to be part of the discussion, and the various projects. I had to stand up and say hey, here I am, here is what I have the share. And it wasn’t about being the center of attention, or wanting others to notice me… it was simply realizing that I was the one causing, accepting, and allowing my own experience of being the outsider.
I essentially had to invite myself in.
So this was quite a cool point to realize… that I had the power to decide for myself to no longer be the outsider. To no longer participate in thoughts that suggested there was something wrong with me that others didn’t want to include me, or that there was something wrong with the group that made me feel like I wasn’t invited. I had the decision to be practical in seeing that if I wanted to be part of something, I would have to play my part – to include myself, to invite myself in.
This was the most supportive realization for me, nurtured by the responsibility I see I have to myself; to who I am, what I think, what I say, and how I act. I am fully, absolutely, in all ways responsible for myself, my experience, and so my expression and so if I want something to be different, or want something to change… I will have to be the one to do that. And so I did.
I made it a point to engage with others more, to not exclude myself based on an idea that I was not wanted, or not invited. I gave myself permission to be present, to participate.
So something I wanted to share here – the solution to being the outsider. Many people experience this with varying degrees of extensiveness, though the solution is essentially all the same. YOU. ME. We have to be the ones to find solutions for ourselves. If we find we feel like we are an outsider… then we must investigate why. What are the thoughts? What are the feelings? Where is there self-dis-empowerment taking place? Victimization? Self-definitions? That is OURS to clean up with self-forgiveness, and correct with commitment statements… and then to apply it. To live it. To live the acceptance and allowance of who you are and whether you will always see yourself as different, as less than, or more than, as on the outside, or whether you are equal in your value as a human being, as a social creature, as a participant within this reality. Insert yourself into what is going on… make yourself known, make yourself present.
A gift only you can give to you.
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