“To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés
I’ll tell you a secret- dear are those to me, who don’t fit in, who are outsiders, drifting in a perpetual exile. They have tried to belong, to find peace and community, but no sheep… I mean group… embraces them. These are the deep, independent thinkers, the over-feelers who carry an existential burden, the ones who have no choice but to confront personal, and collective trauma and grief, most likely, on a daily basis.
These highly sensitive beings are always met with resistance from the outside – from people who live their mediocre lives in accordance with fear – the fear of things changing, of transformation; such individuals have crushed their own dreams and lost their passions. They, therefore, desire the same for you too.
How dare you even think to do the impossible?! To be different? To be ‘too much’. Why can’t you be normal?
Be quiet and abide by the rules– they whisper.
The system, of which these status quo police are a part (which may consist of family and friends as well), wants lips to be muted and hearts to not find their freedom of self-expression. The idea of revolution, of a change in the paradigm, makes them quake in their bones. Why? Because it would mean they would have to look deep within and see what evil lurks there – what darkness compels them to police the borders of what is ‘acceptable’ and ‘normal,’ what shadow they see in you that makes them so terrified of themselves.
Those in exile from the dominant culture cannot help but obey their nature. Imagine telling a scorpion or a bee not to sting when provoked, and the same goes for the sensitive ones; their anger, rage, and other big emotions that others try to silence, only bubbles more to the surface when doused with oppressive words, even more so when personal boundaries are crossed, or when their worth is diminished.
Dearer are those to me who have the audacity to not care what ‘other people think,’ who continue to speak their truths, act upon their intuition, create their own path and share their wisdom.
Who needs the support of these naysayers anyway, when the entire universe converges inside our precious bodies?
Dearest still are those to me, who lead the way for the rest of us sacred rebels, who exist on the periphery of social norms – norms rooted in systemic oppression – cruelty and violence towards the inner feminine soul that is centuries old.
I have been ruminating a lot, lately, on the wisdom from Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ seminal book, The Women Who Run with the Wolves – Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman. In it, she writes:
“While exile is not a thing to desire for the fun of it, there is an unexpected gain from it; the gifts of exile are many. It takes out weakness by the pounding. It removes whininess, enables acute insight, heightens intuition, grants the power of keen observation and perspective that the ‘insider’ can never achieve.”
I encourage you to look at the part of you that longs to belong, that part of you that seeks a home in others but can’t find it, and instead find warped versions that do more harm than good. This part of you that doesn’t belong has a message. Lean in closer. Obey its nature. Obey the reality of the piece that doesn’t fit!
Perhaps, it’s not meant to. Perhaps, you are not meant to.
I’d like you to move closer to the truth, to the life that is longing to emerge, but where you stay stuck because of your desire to look the same as others or be like ‘them’, to have what ‘they’ have.
When will you give birth to your ‘self’— to your difference? Your magnificence? That legacy that you will leave behind. Your dharma.
As Estes implores, ‘if not now, when?’
Her writing is like nectar to the wound of disconnection from self and nature – the feminine nature. To be in communion with the self, and especially the sacred feminine spirit, will require the surrender of the longing to fit in. Instead, question what makes you unique. What aches to emerge from within you?
“Do not cringe and make yourself small if you are called the black sheep, the maverick, the lone wolf,” she maintains, ‘Those with slow seeing say a nonconformist is a blight on society. But it has been proven over the centuries, that being different means standing at the edge, means one is practically guaranteed to make an original contribution, a useful and stunning contribution to her culture.”
When you celebrate and allow your difference, your gift to emerge, that is when you will walk your path of power.
I depart with a spell:
Stoke within, the sacred fire,
Fan the flame of your true desire,
Awaken the feminine soul,
The primal force!
Both wisdom-keeper and fighter;
The Sage and the Warrior.