I don’t recall ever feeling like I fit in anywhere. Although in realty I wanted to. Growing up is hard, as is trying to fit in, so part of me I think just decided to go the “loner” route, in an attempt to shield myself from rejections, and deny my desire for true connections – although clearly a sub-conscience move.
I worked so hard at this independence in fact that it actually did a lot of damage to my heart and soul. For it made my desire for connections calloused.
As a result, I learned to live with my guard up, not trusting, or getting too close relationally. The dichotomy being I deeply longed and wanted to.
I see better now how much of myself I lost, or buried along the way, and feel like I’m recently rediscovering the shards of my brokenness. I know God is piecing me back together to restore and reveal my true self. This is a lifelong recovery process no doubt, and at times I wish it would all hurry up, but healing, as I’m discovering, is a process, a patient, caring, and intentional process.
Trying to fit in, or trying to deny the fact I wanted to fit in, created shame and self contempt. For I would try to hide parts of my ancestry, my identity, my voice, my desires, and my hopes in an attempt to “blend in”, be accepted, validated and approved.
I traded all these things and reached for high achievements all to gain a worldly acceptance, applause, and acclaim – never realizing all those things were only deepening my unending soul thirst.
The world can’t give us what we truly need, or desire – this requires a “returning home”, as the prodigal son did with his father. We too must turn to our Heavenly Father. For He loves us unconditionally, accepts us, sees us, knows us, and welcomes us with open arms – without judgments, or comparisons. He doesn’t try to consume us either – but waits patently, kindly, and gently for us to receive His unconditional love.
I realize we are all being invited to be like our Father – To love the way He loves, live the way He lives, and give the way He gives, and to embrace all the unique beauty and diversity He created us with.
Ultimately, if we try to fit in with the world, we will lose ourself because the world can’t offer what we truly long for – only God can do this. We are in this world but not of it. So it would make sense we can feel strange within it at times.
Carl Jung once said, “your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes”.
No doubt, authentic connections are rare, yet so vital to us all. To have them well, we must first have it with our Father, who helps us have it with ourselves and in this process, we are better equipped to have it with others.