Everybody is after being extraordinary. That is the search of the ego: to be someone who is special, to be someone who is unique, incomparable. And this is the paradox: the more you try to be exceptional, the more ordinary you look, because everybody is after extraordinariness. It is such an ordinary desire. – Osho; The Book of Understanding
I have a confession to make. I have always craved for approval from others, to be accepted by others but most of all, to be special. To be extraordinary. To be TOLD that I was special.
Maybe it comes from a childhood issue of always being compared with the neighbours kids, to my cousins and whoever else my parents thought I can be compared to. I was never good enough. Sometimes I feel my sister got it worse that me when it came to studies, not only was she compared to everybody’s kids but also compared with me. I, on the other hand got it bad when it came to my weight. Having relatives and family friends that joined in the chorus of stating the obvious, didn’t help either.
Whatever the cause, I’ve been let down, I’ve had this fear of being left behind, of not being good enough and all sorts of feelings that have done nothing but stress me out and at its worst made me depressed – because I wasn’t special enough.
I used to think though…based on all the reading that I’ve been doing for these past months and from some intrinsic knowledge, that if we are all extraordinary and special in our own right, if we all have the Divine spark within us all…then, how can one actually be extraordinary? Does it mean that there are the chosen few who are blessed to be shown certain things, to be allowed to experience certain things, to know and embrace their gifts while the rest are either too caught up with merely surviving this lifetime or just not blessed enough? Maybe I was trying too hard. Maybe I just needed to let go and just be. Maybe we all just have different ways of manifesting our gifts, and sometimes it may not be what I envisioned it would be like. Whatever it was, I had a hard time trying to let go and just be, because there was a part of me that wanted that recognition.
I feel maybe it’s safe to say that the majority of us feel the same. The want to be recognized, to want to feel just a little more special than the other. It’s the competitive streak that we have as humans.
What I read in Osho’s “The Book of Understanding” (which I plan to review…good luck to me with that!) switched on a light in my mind. I was so busy trying to be unique and special that I had forgotten I *was* unique. That I didn’t have to try, because what I am is unique. There is no one who is exactly the same like me on this earth. There may be people who may think like me, who may like the same things as I do, but no one can ever be me. And *that* makes me special. My ordinary self, being just me makes me special. My challenges and lessons that I have learned and have yet to learn make me unique. My mind that seems to be able to grasp the deeper meanings of this life makes me unique. The fact that I’m more of a “mind person” is not something bad! It doesn’t mean that not being a “heart person” is bad at all! I know I have to learn to use my heart, to balance my mind but that’s a good thing. It’s all good.
I’m me with the slight squint, the little “cartilage tag” on my right ear, with being in “round” shape, with my loud laugh, the snorts that escapes me when I laugh, my big-ish nose and every thing else that makes me…..me.
Here are some quotes that are my favourites:
How can you be more unique than you are already? Uniqueness is already there, you have to discover it. You are not to invent it, it is hidden within you; you have been carrying it forever and ever. It is your very being, your very core of being. You have just to close your eyes and look at yourself; you have jut to stop for a while and rest and look. But you are running so fast, you are in such great haste to achieve it, that you will miss it.
Become ordinary and you will become extraordinary; try to become extraordinary and you will remain ordinary
The ordinary person is the natural person. Nature does not produce special people. It produces unique people, but not special. Everybody is unique in his own way.
The ordinary person has a uniqueness and simplicity, humbleness.
When I read the paragraph below, I actually felt a little lighter. Like a weight being lifted up a little from my shoulders…so can you imagine how it would feel if we start practicing and being mindful of it? When we don’t need to pretend anymore, when we can finally just be who we truly are!
When I talk about ordinariness, I am saying drop the idea of being extraordinary, which is keeping you mediocre. To be ordinary is the most extraordinary thing in the world. Just watch yourself. It hurts very much, it is painful to accept that you are not extraordinary. Then watch what happens when you accept the idea that you are ordinary. A great burden is relieved. Suddenly you are in the open space, natural, just the way you are.
I also realized something else. Ever since I started exploring my arty self, I’ve come across so many amazing blogs by artists…each with their own brand of art, each as lovely, each making me go “Wow!”. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve compared what I do with what they do and most times I remind myself that we all have our own way of expressing ourselves. That art really cannot be compared. But then there have been times when I allow myself to forget and feel like what I have created isn’t that special. So, yes…even through my newly (rediscovered) love for colours and art, this lesson I am still learning.
This is what I want to learn:
I want to be me, just ordinary me. I want to experience me, in my totality. I want to be uniquely ordinarily me and I want to love this me
Does this resonate with you too, friend?
This blog post was inspired by Anye’s photo blog post called Unique. Please do drop by for a show of love
- When ordinary leads to extraordinary (frugal2free.typepad.com)
- From Ordinary To Extraordinary (molaleadership.com)