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They Threw the Mold Away

By Karen Wright

As children we wanted so desperately to fit in. We learned quickly that to emulate those we liked meant they'd like us back. Any part of us that stood out differently was a mortification to be covered up, cast aside, or categorically denied.

We got so good at renouncing our individuality that it faded from view. Our adopted standard for success and happiness became an impersonal, unattainable fantasy of excellence that we knew deep inside we had no hope of ever basking in that golden glow of super-humanness.

Ask anyone you know - chances are they feel that somehow they've never really measured up. Others know more, are better off, are happier. We constantly hold ourselves up against this fabricated model of perfection and find ourselves wanting. No wonder anti-depressants are, according to the Center for Disease Control, the most prescribed drug in the US. It's a bummer to continuously come up short.

We subscribe to this ridiculous measure of success that no one has ever achieved because we believe it promises true happiness. But, different things make different people happy - IF they honor what is uniquely them. There is no one template. We each possess our own. Ever feel that you're behind in your life? That you should be further ahead by now? Being behind implies that there is some standard already set for your life that you are comparing yourself against.

But, you are an original. No one just like you has ever walked this planet before. You brought with you the whole design of who you are. There was no timeline preset for you. You couldn't possible be early or late, because the only record of you is what actually IS. Which means that you are exactly who you should be at this moment and are exactly where you should be at this moment.

You couldn't possibly live your life wrong because you are the only one who's living it and you're making it up as you go. Comparing yourself to others is the immature game of fit-in we plaid as children. They are not you - your life is not theirs. Their success does not diminish yours. Your achievement is your only standard. Are you manifesting your own potential? Are you honoring your uniqueness?

Measuring your life with someone else's yardstick will always disappoint you. Maybe even depress you. You're an adult now - stop trying to earn their respect and live your own life. Truthfully, they don't care about you. They're so wrapped up in their own story they aren't even aware of yours.

Determine what you want and let that be your guide. Decide who you want to be and chart that course. No one has gone there before - there is no well-trodden path to follow. Life is not a game of follow-the-leader. Life is an adventure of self-discovery.

Karen is author of The Sequoia Seed: Remembering the Truth of Who You Are, a great read for anyone who is seeking understanding or guidance, inspiration or clarity in his or her life.
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