Birthday parties are so much fun!! Especially when you are little and Mum and Dad invite all your friends over to celebrate with you. It’s fun for the birthday girl or boy and so much fun for the children attending.
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Now just imagine that you are five years old. Your neighbour is in your class at school and her birthday is coming up. She is having a party. It’s so exciting and everyone is talking about the birthday party on the weekend. Then you discover you are not invited. You are the only one in the entire class not invited.
Heart plummets. Confidence sinks. Self-esteem shatters. Life will never be the same again…. How can one possibly learn and grow from this experience? Seriously?
This happened to me, and I remember standing in my yard, connected to my neighbours, watching all the children from my class laughing and having a good time and singing happy birthday to the little girl who had just turned 5. The celebrations were enviable and I was so very sad, standing there talking to the children through the fence.
What can be learned from this is that life is all about ‘difference’ and although it would be wonderful and brilliant if life was fair and equal, it’s not the case and that’s ok. Once we realise that life has low points and high points – it makes the journey so much easier to navigate and circumnavigate.
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth – John F Kennedy
Growing up I didn’t realise this act of ‘ostracisation’ had me believing I was fundamentally flawed and defective, and what I didn’t appreciate until much later in life, is it was a reflection on them, not me. I was and still am a person who didn’t “conform, obey or blindly follow” what others say, and this is such a beautiful and precious thing.
If you’ve been like me, like the child left on the sidelines looking in – please embrace and nurture this ‘difference’ because it means you are exceptional and divine and so unique that others don’t quite know how to interact with you. It means you are a leader and someone who will forge new paths – because you see the world differently and can see horizons that others who do ‘fit in and want to fit in’ are totally unaware of. Embrace your freedom and growth because the world needs people like you.
My entire life, I’ve not known what it’s like to connect with others on a deep friendship basis – on that really, really deep level that others take for granted as it’s their norm. For my entire life I’ve felt misunderstood, judged, and alienated or disregarded if my views and stance were different from mainstream beliefs. Yet it’s my way of thinking that is slowly changing the way for those that follow in my footsteps and coming up behind me.
Remember; please remember that its leaders with a unique way of thinking that face the most challenges. It’s the leaders who step out into the savage world of grass, bush and thick foliage with no road to show them the way. It’s the leaders, the people who are ‘different, the people who don’t fit in, the people rejected by a society that likes to stick to ‘roads’, that hack away at the foliage, grass and bushes, creating brand new roads, and brand new paths….. And how exciting and creative is that!
Yes it can be difficult it can be hard work- sometimes lonely, and yet the freedom of creativity and uniqueness is overwhelming. Think of Captain Cook who discovered Australia, how difficult would his job have been? Think of how difficult it would have been for the person who wanted to make travel to the moon a reality. Changing mainstream beliefs on what is possible is so worthwhile. Don’t ever feel your difference is a negative. Your difference is divine and much needed in a world that needs new ways, new roads and new paths.
I am feeling love for the first time ever from the outside world and it feels so beautiful. I’ve come a long, long way, from the 5 year old, who was the only girl not invited to a birthday party. I’m beginning to feel what it’s like to be genuinely loved and accepted for me.
The reason I feel this love now, as I never have before is because I embrace my difference and acknowledge the world may always view people who are true leaders with suspicion and misgivings – and such knowledge is a gem you can take from this article.
Know that people view difference as undesirable more often than not – and is a reflection on them, not you. Resistance is expected by people who don’t see the big picture or don’t’ see what is possible or have no idea how such ideas can become reality. I encourage you to keep doing what you do and keep changing the world. If it wasn’t for people like you, than Australia may never have been discovered and man may never have walked on the moon. Whatever you do, there is a purpose and a reason.
YOU are very much needed in the world. YOU are required to make the difference others cannot. YOUR difference, uniqueness and divinity are required.
What are you going to do? Conform? Or forge new roads and new paths?