Why is this phrase, and the often negative thoughts, feelings and connotations surrounding it, so embedded in our individual and collective psyche?
One answer to this question might be that it appeals to our sense that we somehow don’t and may never belong; that we aren’t and will never be the right shape to fit in.
However, I ask this: why even bother thinking about shapes at all, or if we need to think along these lines, why think about only two.
The other more important question for me is: Why do we think or have the need to fit in at all.
I have known the agonizing and debilitating self-doubt created by lusting after the need to fit in, by playing whatever game or towing yet another line. However, deep down inside I knew that no matter what I did I just didn’t, wouldn’t ever and really had no desire to fit.
I just thought that was the way life was.
For more years than I care to think about I was on a crusade to shrink who I truly was to fit and meld into any collectively-created shape that, at the time, seemed more attractive to me than the full and authentic expression of myself. I was also bound and determined to find the smallest, most constricting shapes to meld into so that that self could and would disappear completely.
“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place”. Margaret Mead
Then I slowly awakened to the notion that life wasn’t about shapes. It’s more like a tapestry, a mosaic that weaves together the rich diverse brilliance of each and every expression of life, which includes me and you.
Life isn’t about a finite number of shapes but about an infinite number of hues expressing themselves through each and every one of us.
So instead of trying to fit in, we need to focus on how to connect and thread the unique expression of life that is us with the distinctiveness of others in such a way that each shines their authentic light on each other and the world at large.
Sometimes you may feel that the yarn of connection is the wrong colour or not strong enough. However strength comes from knowing that the connection is there, even if not apparent to you or the other individual.
The deep richness of life’s mosaic will not be all that it can be without each one of us fully and authentically expressing our life given magnificence.
So forget the notion of shapes and start to weave the magic of your one of a kind expression of life.