You Are Not Uniquely Disturbed

P1000261Did you ever wish you were inside somebody else’s head? Of course you did. If you stop to think about it right now, you could probably come up with several individuals whose minds you wish you could read. If you are interviewing for a job, you probably would love to know what they think of you. That hot date last weekend; why has she not called yet? Your boss seems angry at something; I wonder if she did not like my presentation. You weren’t invited to the party Saturday night; he probably doesn’t think I am cool enough. You were invited to the party; will he think I am cool enough. The reality is that we spend more time thinking about what other people think than what we think. We are often more concerned with pleasing others than with fulfilling our own needs.

The irony is we are so caught up in the chatter of our own mind, we are unaware that everyone around us is plagued with similar doubts and fears. Imagine what your day to day life would be like if you operated with the knowledge that every person is essentially experiencing life not much differently than you are. What if you discovered your deepest darkest thoughts are not uniquely yours- no matter how bizarre or convoluted- most people have experienced similar or worse thoughts?  Whether you are angry, fearful, sad, jealous or insecure,  there is nothing your mind has come up with that has not been thought by a million others.

In my work, I have had the privilege of hearing it all; not only from my clients but from my own mind. Much of my work is focused on helping people recognize that most of their fears and insecurities are “normal.” The perception of “something is uniquely wrong with me,” is one of the primary causes of pain and suffering. People believe that other people have it all together; they are happy; they have what they want. I can assure you this perception is incorrect.

What keeps this belief alive  is the inauthenticity from which most of us are operating.  This began in our childhood; whenever we expressed negative thoughts we were chastised and made to feel like we were somehow bad for even feeling them.  We learned to keep our true feelings to ourselves and put on a phony face to the outside world.

Parents need to help their children feel that their feelings are normal.  They need to have the space to express them without fearing rejection or feeling bad.  Allowing children to feel their feelings and release them appropriately will help them feel more comfortable in their own skin and less afraid of being harshly judged.  Embracing their feelings will help them accept themselves unconditionally.

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3 Comments on “You Are Not Uniquely Disturbed”

  • 10 June, 2010,

    I think one of the most intricate balancing acts that we all have to learn to do, in our heads, is between acknowledging and celebrating our uniqueness on one hand while recognizing at the same time that we are often pretty much like everyone else.

    WE often (and maybe especially as teen-agers) think that no one can know what we feel and what we are going through and that is in one sense true — but at the same time, everyone around us is thinking the same thing!

  • ronit
    10 June, 2010,

    That is absolutely the case. We are all the same, i.e. we all want to be happy, healthy and loved. We want to be seen, heard, acknowledged and validated. We want to participate with and contribute to community. Our uniqueness comes from the Divine spark. That special talent or attribute that each and everyone of us has that is an expression of our participation with the source. We are not alone in our thoughts or dreams. Teaching children about our oneness while celebrating each child’s unique contribution would promote a very different world.

  • 27 September, 2010,

    I think from my own experience, once we fulfil our own needs instead of looking out all of the time to please others we can actually genuinely give more to others. More of what they really want and need. Love your website!

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