For most of my life I have felt like a square peg trying to fit into round holes, while looking around for, “my people,” my “community.”
Yet I tend to find myself falling short, never quite feeling that sense of belonging to a people, as it pertains to community.
I give some credence to my having Native American heritage, and possibly that my sense of belonging energetically was lost somewhere along the, “Trail of Tears.”
In high school I didn’t fit in the “preppy,” crowd, the “jocks and cheerleaders,” and definitely not with the “brains or nerds,” and not even with the “party crowd.” (My fears of experimenting with recreational drugs never reached its full potential. I couldn’t get past exploring with more than just marijuana and alcohol.) But I certainly had acquaintances in each clique and group, but never fully felt like I belonged to any of them.
I always felt as, an “other,” standing outside inner circles, trying to fit in. These “other,” feelings and self imposed designations moved with me well into my 20’s, 30’s, though now in my 40’s, I have grown to finding peace with my feelings regarding not “fitting in.”
Through a more personal exploration of myself, with enough time alone to possibly deem myself a holy person, though I lack the title of such, or the sense of enlightenment that would be bestowed upon such a person, I am simply unique. We are all unique and also the same.
What I have gained in spending so much time alone is the understanding of what it means to like, to truly value, one’s own company, and how I am never lonely, or all alone. The time alone has given me the ability to feel the energy of the people around me when I am with people. I sense insecurities, judgments, fears, and also joy, peace, and creative energy that is in abundance in us all and all around us, because we are all made up of what it means to live with human conditions.
I’d like to say I wish I were more of a people person, but I’ve grown out of such longing. I have come, as Krishnamurti spoke of, to seeing myself for what I am, observing it, and moving with it.
Animals, nature, books, music, writing, meditation, and serving the underserved communities, are all parts of what makes me feel whole. I love beautiful things connected to the past that still live and thrive in the present, like pretty dresses and hats, from as far back as the Victorian era, and often adorn my body with clothing from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
It offers me great fulfillment to recycle older items, making them current, repurposing. This action parallels our lives. We are constantly changing, repurposing our ways of being in the world around us.
Even if we may feel like those square pegs trying to fit into the round holes, we are each truly unique beings that come together like drops of water creating the magnificent ocean, and we each are needed to make the fullness of its beauty.
The gift of being alive is our ability to be in love with the universe, loving each moment, whether that be spent breathing through pain and loss, through pain and suffering, or peace and happiness, because like the ocean, life comes and goes in waves, and the more we embrace the impermanence of it, the more we are able to spend each moment in a sense of awe of it, rather than with feelings of separateness, or suffering.
Witnessing the world, and oneself, with acceptance, with eyes that see the blessings, and rather than with feelings of separateness, which is the root of suffering, we come to know true freedom and begin to live life to its fullest.
Our connection with one another, is inevitable, even if momentarily we might feel different, separate, we truly are part of the unified whole.
My ancestors let me know I am part of them when I entered a sweat lodge for the first time and felt I had been there all my life, praying in the Lakota ways, even though it was the first time I physically had been there. This enabled me to feel deeper connection to everyone and everything.
Flowers let me see my connection to the greater world when I witness the bud unfolding every spring, and their death in summer and fall.
The cycles of life, the death of love ones, and the birth of new ones, all serve to remind me that we are fully interconnected, even during those times when might we feel like an “other,” we truly are a necessary, another.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard