I recently went through a period of pretty deep anger towards a coach I used to work with. He used to say to me that I had some special magic about me. That I had this special energy. That I was just, well, special.
And because I've always wanted to be special, I believed him. I bought more and more into the idea that I was special. Different from everyone else. More magical. A certain je ne sais quoi that no one else possessed.
And yet at the same time as beginning to believe that I really was some special magical being, I also couldn't understand how, if this were true, why I were not yet catapulted to the greatest heights of fame and fortune? Why was I still having to work so hard to make things work?
If my energy were so addictive and special and wonderful to be around, why were people and opportunities and money not flowing into my life with greater ease?
And so at some point I started to unravel from it all. I started to feel like I wasn't special at all. I started to get angry that someone would say those things to me and make me believe I was more than I was. I felt like I'd been tricked. Duped. Had the wool pulled over my eyes.
And at the same time, I began to question my own actions. How many people and clients had I said something similar to? Had I caused them to feel this way?
I've been thinking a lot about this lately, attempting to come to some sort of acceptable answer about being special. And this is what I've reached and what I'd like to share with you today.
You ARE special. And you are truly also not special at all.
I find I have two ways in which I can view being special.
First, I can believe I'm special in the sense of believing I'm different and better and more magical than others. When I think of being special in this way, I notice I feel competitive, bitter against others who seem to be doing better than me and a little anxious, as though I somehow need to fight my way up to the top and push others away.
Second, I can believe I'm special in the sense of believing that I'm capable of whatever I put my mind to, that I have something unique to contribute to the world that's different to what everyone else has to contribute, but also part of a giant jigsaw puzzle of which we are all an important piece.
When I think of being special in this second way, it gives me extra strength and energy - a belief that I can go forth and do whatever I put my mind to but without any need to compete against others or see myself and what I do as either greater or lesser than.
This type of special is life giving. It's the sort of special that affirms I'm a worthy human being with so much to give without making me feel separate or superior to the rest of the world.
Examining and redefining the way in which I see myself as special has allowed me to breathe a big sigh of relief. To let go of the idea that I'm somehow "extra" special or more than, and yet to also understand that I have the power within me to accomplish whatever it is I so choose.
My coach wasn't wrong when he told me I have something special about me. I'm so grateful for his words. I am indeed special. I do indeed have some special magic about me. And I am indeed capable of what others are not. But only in the sense that my journey and what I'm here to contribute is different to your journey and what you're here to contribute.
Special not special.
That's what I am.
That's what you are.
And so terribly ordinary.
What a wonderful way to be.
Love and courage,