Set apart

I don’t belong. And for the first time I am 100% okay with that. I’ve always wanted to fit in somewhere. To feel like I belong. But everywhere I went: from high school, to college, to church, I notice i’m always sitting at the edge looking in. I participate, i’m involved, but i’m always relieved when I can step back, remove the mask, and just be myself.

We all conform to some extent in order to fit into society. Though we claim to value individuality, when someone strays too far from the norm, it isn’t long before we brand that person as “weird,” or “radical.”

There is an innate part of each of us that longs for the feeling of “belonging.” When we are surrounded by a group of people our actions begin to mimic those around us. We find a niche–some place we can fit in. We build a perception of ourselves in other peoples mind, and then later on we struggle to keep up with other peoples expectations of who we are.

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There is a raw version of ourselves that is unpolluted by societies perception of what we should be. In a huge lecture hall, a professor recently described this as our ‘driving face.’ If you are ever driving, look out at the person in the car next to you. If they are driving alone, and the music is not on, you will see that their face is blank, emotionless. Their face is raw, almost animal like, because without stimulus, without any thoughts of someone watching, or someone judging, they don’t have to be anyone, they don’t have to feel anything. They can simple be.

But what does it mean to be yourself? Unless you believe that you were created to be a certain person, and to achieve certain things, there is no guide as to what you should be, or what you should feel. You are just an actor, and the world is your stage. Your life experiences and connections have shaped who you are–whether you are conscious of it or not. But the amazing thing is that we are all able to step out of our circumstances and choose who we want to be, how we want to act, and what we should feel. We can choose to be victims of our circumstances, or to break the mold life has cast us in.

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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

Seek a higher purpose for yourself than simple existing; chasing money, empty dreams, and broken promises. Instead of being influenced, be an influence. Instead of accepting the norm, set new norms. Don’t accept circumstances without daring to challenge the status quo. Dare to be different. Dare to set yourself apart.

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