As a naturally intense person, you may have accumulated experiences of being misunderstood and marginalised, and subsequently you have learned to feel bad about who you are.
This results in problems such as low self-esteem, trying to twist who you are in order to ‘fit in’, or becoming very sensitive to criticisms and rejection. In other words, you have internalised the ‘shame’ others or society have imposed on you.
How many years have you been trying now, to fit in, even when you don’t?
How much have you sacrificed, how much discomfort have you endured, in order to be like everyone else?
One way of breaking out of this negative loop is to consciously remind yourself of your uniqueness, and stop trying to be who you are not.
For example, if you have chosen to not have what others consider a ‘normal’ college life, or if you did not climb the typical, conventional ‘corporate ladder’ because you knew these were not a natural fit for you, you ought to remember these reasons behind your original decisions.
Being different can be lonely, but that is not where suffering lies— suffering lies in the perception that things as they stand are ‘not okay’. Or worse, that YOU are not okay.
If you can truly free yourself from all the ‘shoulds’ society has imposed on you, and begin to practise embracing what is, life will reward you with peace, joy and fulfilment.
Perhaps you are not your friend, and Tinder and modern dating fail to reach the depth and intensity you crave in a relationship.
Perhaps you are not your cousin, and drinking and small talks in a party feel like a torture.
Perhaps you are not your parents, who were content with their corporate cubicle lives and have been living in the same small town for the last 30 years.
It is easy to see something and think that is what you want, even when it is really not what your soul TRULY needs.
D H Lawrence had this figured out back in 1923, when he said,
‘Men are not free when they are doing just what they like… Men are only free when they are doing what the deepest self likes. And there is getting down to the deepest self! It takes some diving’.
Because the deepest self is buried inside, if you want to be free, you have to give up the illusion of doing what you ‘think’ you like, and seek what your soul wishes done.
All that is left now is to take the first step, perhaps a bite-size, implementable practise that you can incorporate into your life right now. :
Just for this week, whenever you hear or see someone else's’ life, status update and feel a surge of discomfort or envy, say to yourself ‘This is his/her life, and not mine. I have my own path’. Or, you can repeat the following Oscar Wilde quote to yourself: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is taken’. It may seem awkward and mechanical at first, but somehow our subconscious mind would have received your message.