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The Importance of Being Different
by Stewart Blackburn

One of the things that has been the hardest for me to grasp is how I create my own reality in every moment of every day. I get that each choice I make has a profound effect on my life, with ripples on down the road and outward into the rest of the Universe. And I understand that all of my reactions to what happens in my life are all my responsibility and they largely determine whether I am enjoying my life or feeling unhappy about it. But when it comes to accepting my power to be in charge of how my life works out, that is, within the parameters of earthly existence, then I find myself balking a bit. There is something in me that resists that power and responsibility.

And the thing that seems to be blocking me the most is accepting all of who I am. I don't think that I'm all that different from most people in this. When I look around I see most people struggling to compensate for things that they are ashamed of, or find too difficult to face outright. It seems like we should be able to take up our power without having to go through all the nasty stuff that we've been avoiding for most of our lives. But it doesn't seem to be possible; we seem to have to learn to be okay with who we are if we want to really become the powerful beings we were born to be.

Some of the most troubling of this stuff are the ways that we are different from what we perceive as "normal." When we are struggling to understand and feel all our energies, for example, then to see that we are dealing with energies and feelings that don't seem to be just like other people's is very confusing and disturbing.

It then becomes easy to point out the differences in those around us. When we criticize the behavior or characteristics of other people, it seems to make us feel a little better about our own differences. But we often forget that when we are not okay with those who are different, then we loose the safety of being different ourselves.

How can it be safe for us to be who we are if it isn't safe for anyone else to be immune to criticism or ridicule? So it becomes imperative that we be accepting of others in order to find the safety to be ourselves. It isn't even a matter of being tolerant of others' differences. That only means we're holding our noses until they pass. If we really want to fully accept who we are, and thus enjoy all the wonderful feelings of being whole, then we have to accept the reflections of ourselves that we see in others.

So, in order to be powerful, not only do I have to accept myself, I have to accept everyone else. Wow! This is becoming a much more complicated enterprise than just a simple effort to be more powerful. But it is in this moment of self-acceptance that I can consciously and fully create my own reality, knowing that everyone else is doing the same.

Now I know that not everyone will be doing it consciously. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true. Just the same, the key to being effective in creating our own reality seems to be in first recognizing our own uniqueness and individuality.

By seeing that no other being has our special perspective on life, that no one else has exactly the same experiences that we do, and that no one else creates the same meanings and rules we do, we then can be clear about our own reality and let the others create their own.

To be different and to be comfortable in that perceived difference gives us the freedom to act from our core or our most authentic self. Without a sense that we are different and that that's a good thing, we can't trust the most subtle and profound messages coming from within. We don't have to measure what we are or what we desire by any other standard than our own sense of what works for us and what doesn't.

It's slowly becoming clear to me that becoming sufficiently powerful to accept my ability to create my own reality, consciously, isn't about drawing in that power, or even drawing it up. Just the opposite; it's about stopping all my efforts to restrict and block my power. I simply have to let go of all the ways I hold myself back with judgments and criticisms so that my natural power can express itself. By just being who I am, I release the most powerful version of myself that there can be.

So I now make an effort to create my life from the perspective that this life of mine is like a painter's palette and canvas. I can do this anyway I choose, and my painting will be different from anyone else's. That's what makes it art.

Copyright 2017 Stewart Blackburn

Stewart Blackburn is the author of The Skills of Pleasure: Crafting the Life You Want. His website is: www.stewartblackburn.com; email: lomilomiman@gmail.com.

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