Arriving in Yourself

I often had the feeling that I didn’t fit into this world. The feeling that the people I was surrounded by were somehow different from me, that they had completely different lifestyles, values, or views than I did, and that I did not SEE myself in any of them.

I wanted to feel connected, to get along really well with others, but I couldn’t find a common denominator. I was looking for conversations, but I didn’t know what to talk about. Our encounters were polite, but not friendly. Our conversations were known, but not familiar. I felt strange and alone, but I didn’t know why.

Feeling foreign to me and the search for the mistake

Since I couldn’t find a connection, at some point I started to question myself. I began to judge this feeling of being “different in the world” as “being wrong”. That was the definitive answer for me. After all, I had the impression that all the other people were normal and I was somehow different. I didn’t fit in, fell out of line, and was, therefore I was “wrong”. I was too shy at times, and too outspoken occasionally. Too reserved. Too boring. Too discreet. Too profound. Too sensitive. Too thoughtful. Too complicated. Too simple. A long list of things that were wrong with me.

I began to believe that I had to change in order to fit into the world and feel a connection – and so tried to become like “the others”. I tried to adapt in every way possible, so I could meet other people and finally be able to leave this unpleasant feeling of not fitting in behind me.

I adapted to other roles and opinions and adopted different views and interests. I dressed and behaved like the people I admired and wanted to be part of. I wanted to find like-minded people and became just like them. The biggest “success” for me was when I was accepted into a hip clique. Wow, I finally felt like I belonged, had finally arrived! Or so I thought.

But it was a misconception.

I pretended to be something I wasn’t and that was exactly the mistake that cost me, my spirit. I felt more alien and lonely than ever before. Because now I felt uncomfortable not only because I still didn’t feel like I belonged, but also because I played a role that didn’t suit me at all.

Nobody saw that from the outside. But inside I felt broken.

The turning point

I felt more and more uncomfortable among people and withdrew more and more if that was possible. Inside, I crumbled at the lie of being someone I wasn’t. At some point, I no longer knew who I really was, where I belonged, and where my (inner) home was. Being a foreigner in a country didn’t help. I was a European mountain girl with a funny accent, and for some time I tried to make it all go away. I attempted to talk like THEM, which meant I suppressed my roots.

It began the worst time of my life –a life at war with myself. I didn’t want to be who I was and couldn’t be who I wanted to be. It was a daily struggle in which I lost mercilessly. Every day anew.

As a profound and spiritual person, I firmly believe that we are here for a reason. We all have only this life and we do have a purpose, but what was mine? Just my work and being a married, childless woman, was that all I had to offer? At some point, I wondered if it was really only me that felt strange in the world and if so, why it was only me.

Feeling foreign – high sensitivity as a possible reason

I had a key experience when I came across the topic of high sensitivity. I recognized myself in so many points and finally got answers to my most urgent questions: Why I am the way I am and why do I feel so foreign?

Feeling foreign in the world is a feeling that many highly sensitive people know. The reason lies in their finer sense of energies, stimuli, and perceptions and their often profound nature. They often long for a deeper exchange, deal a lot with questions of meaning, and often need a lot of time for themselves to process all the (much more intense) impressions.

A lot of them are observant, read a lot, study a lot, and question everything. So, I wasn’t the only one?

So, it’s a birth defect? 😉

Self-rejection and inner restlessness

That’s what happened to me. Added to this were the consequences of self-rejection and conflict. An inner restlessness and conflict that often made me ponder and dragged me even further into the swamp of dissatisfaction, worthlessness, and despair.

How can we succeed in letting go of this inner restlessness and finding peace?

For me, the key to a life in peace and connectedness with other people was to come into contact with myself and to live in connection with myself. Because for me something important became clear: The origin of the (main) problem lay in me!

How can I be self-confident and confident in the presence of other people (that was my greatest wish) if I reject myself? Can you confidently stand by yourself and feel connected to others if you don’t accept yourself and have no connection to yourself?

Arriving in yourself

Self-acceptance, self-love, and self-care were important lessons for me that I was allowed to learn (and continue to learn) in order to achieve inner peace.

I realized that the most important place I have to arrive if I want to find inner peace is within myself. When I am connected to myself, I can go my own way confidently and self-determined. I have found security in myself and achieved inner stability that gives me peace and strength.

Those who feel safe in themselves

  • are not afraid to be themselves.
  • are not afraid to speak up and have a different opinion.
  • can be unsettling in criticism they might have different views.
  • have found inner peace and find it more important than the desire to please others.

I was able to realize that I am exactly right the way I am and that I like my place in the world, even in the midst of people. I didn’t have to adapt to be able to arrive, but I had to arrive inside myself in order to be at home in the world.

I learned to feel comfortable in my body and to take good care of myself. It was the path to self-confidence and the key to no longer being afraid to be myself.

The relationship with you determines the relationship with others

A missing and unloving relationship with yourself can be a reason why you feel strange and alone among your fellow human beings. Another reason may be that you are in an environment that does not correspond at all to your way of thinking and living. That you have people around you whose values, needs and interests do not harmonize with you and your being.

There will always be people in your life with whom you will not match and among them, you will feel strange.

If you often feel like you’re a stranger in the world or are frequently surrounded by people you feel uncomfortable with, it’s worth finding the cause to free yourself from the crushing feeling of being separate.

Learn to like yourself. Accept yourself lovingly in all that you are. Then you will find the security within you that carries and protects you from the inside. You will find your value in yourself that enables you to take care of yourself confidently and well. You will feel much less foreign in the world because you have arrived within yourself.

“I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me.
Today I look around and wonder if I like them.” – Unknown

24 thoughts on “Arriving in Yourself

  1. You would be such an asset working with young people, Bridget. Making the point that you needed first to find yourself with acceptance is not achievable without being intuitive and willing to sit with a lot of discomfort until you “arrive,’ I believe. So many people can’t sit with discomfort of any sort. I adopted the quote years ago, “What you think of me is none of my business,” and it sounds a little flip, but it has actually helped me through the years. I really value your perspective. You have depth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The discomfort we feel when we discover ourselves is noting compared to the ongoing discomfort we (might) feel when we are tying to be who we are not.

      I love your quote. “What you think of me is none of my business.” It’s so perfect. I printed it! Thank you for sharing it with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • These are the lessons most of us learn, often painfully, as we age and mature. Thank you for putting them into words. The fact that there are already a lot of quotes on the subject shows that we were not the first to learn these lessons, and I know we will not be the last.

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  2. I pretty much had the feeling that you wrote this post about me, although obviously I knew it wasn’t. From the first paragraph, I thought: gifted and highly sensitive. A diagnosis that I received only about a year and a bit ago. The things you write, about wanting to fit in, but really, really not fitting in, they’re just so familiar to me. This will be one I save in order to read it back a couple of times. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and your ways of dealing with the world, yourself, and yourself in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think giftedness lies in the range of five to ten percent of the general population. For high sensitivity, I can’t recall a statistic, but Elaine Aron, must have written something about it. I’d consider printing it out and putting it on my door. For almost 35 years I have conditioned myself to believe that there was something wrong with me. I always felt like a black sheep. Now I know it’s not wrong. Just different.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We are all gifted, sometimes it just doesn’t show at first glance. As for being overly sensitive, that’s more common but not always diagnosed. So many walk around believing there is something wrong with them for their whole life. It’s sad.

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  3. This interesting and detailed piece resonates with me. Before the pandemic I was part of a long-standing reading group (which has not survived) with several other very pleasant and likeable people. Most of our monthly meetings were very enjoyable, but … I would often feel ‘out’ because they could afford to eat out, to travel widely, to ‘redo’ their homes …. so I would ‘quake’ when it was my turn to host them in my humble home. It took years for me to realise that the company and conversation was more important than what my furniture looked like. A bonus of age is that I feel so much freer and have learned to accept that I am what I am.

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