DISRUPT LIFE WE ARE MEANT to stand out, not fit in by Sue Dumais Do you stand out or stand in? Have you ever tried to fit inside a box that was too small, contorting your limbs and squishing all your body parts just to fit in? I am sure you have seen a few entertaining videos of cats squishing themselves into small boxes or paper bags. Perhaps you made forts out of blankets and boxes when you were a child so you could tuck yourself in and hide away in your own little world. The important question to ask yourself is, “Am I still trying to fit inside the box, play small, and hide my true self from the rest of the world?” I remember as a child building forts using furniture, pillows, and blankets. I would add my favorite stuffed animals and other comforting trinkets and I would crawl inside my own little world and feel safe for a while. While my home was safe, the rest of the world felt big, intimidating, and painful to me. As an empath and a healer, I could physically and 26
emotionally sense and feel all the pain of others in my own body like constant thorns. I came to the conclusion that it was hard and painful to be me. I tried to fit in and pretend to be someone other than who I was for a long time but in the end, it led me on a path of more pain and suffering. Denying my unique gift as a healer was dishonoring to who I am at the core of my being. Trying to be like others instead of giving myself permission to be me create a feeling of claustrophobia that was strangling my creativity and keeping me playing small. I didn’t want to stand out or make anyone feel inferior. I didn’t want to outshine others, because I didn’t want them to feel bad; yet at the same time, I was trying to prove my worthiness and follow my dream to save the world. Growing up I wanted to save others more than I wanted to save myself. It was a constant internal tug-of-war that used up so much of my energy it
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