The Black Sheep
Have you ever felt like the proverbial “black sheep of the family”? My perspective on the black sheep is someone that thinks and does things very differently from the rest of their family. They are often referred to as the outcast or problem child. In reality, they are just choosing to experience and create their own path, versus follow something that has been predefined. They are often perceived as rebellious and typically misunderstood. They might even feel broken due to their differences and how they are perceived by family.
Sometimes as part of our processing we can feel broken inside, either from our childhood experiences or from feeling deeper, such as empaths and indigo children, who are known to be more sensitive than the average person. Perhaps this is what makes someone feel like the black sheep of the family. For myself, I often felt very misunderstood and really struggled with getting grounded in life, during my early years. As I worked through my challenges, I became more disciplined. I created my own structure, which was the opposite of what I grew up with. I struggled to fit into any particular mold and when I attempted to do so, my soul screamed. This along with childhood struggles (as discussed in ADHD), caused me to be quite hard on myself for many years. Now I welcome and appreciate my differences and love helping others realize their own uniqueness and true worth.
Black sheep or not, it’s important to stop replaying the stories of our past in order to move beyond them and make the deeper inner changes. It’s the release that is necessary here for healing. I used to feel broken inside, and for a short time I blamed that on my childhood. For as long as I blamed my childhood, I continued to replay those Stories (and emotions), which kept me stuck in repeating old patterns. As children, our parents are responsible, but as adults WE become responsible. When we stop placing blame on our past (and others outside the self), we become able to change it. This starts by taking full responsibility for your life now, in the present moment. For what we replay in our imagination, we continue to relive emotionally. The old stories create a disconnect between our inner child and adult self. Our inner child, when ignored, leads to self-sabotage. By ceasing to replay the past, we unite the two, and inner conflict begins to fade away.
“Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.”
― Byron Katie
The most difficult part about feeling like the black sheep is our inward state of being. Thoughts like “why can’t I be like others” or “why am I so different” or “whats wrong with me”. For many, beliefs and dogmas feel very boxy and the ‘norm’ seems too mechanical. This can trigger internal judgments and at times amplify judgments from family members. Family will feel like they don’t even know you as they struggle to support your perspective on life. It’s nearly impossible to change how another perceives you, but you do have full power to change yourself.
When it comes to judgment, we benefit so much by focusing on our self and less about others, which is really just a distraction from the self anyway. After all, it’s our own inner Critical Judgments that hurt us the most. They are the invisible forces that cause us to hold ourselves back in life. When you free yourself from your own internal judgments you become free from the concern of others. What others do or think, has nothing to do with you. This does not mean that you’re spiteful and reactive, quite the opposite. You actually become more open and the mind becomes free. It becomes more about you unconditionally embracing (and expressing) all aspects of you. This is true freedom of self-expression.
Self-love and acceptance
What it really comes down to is complete and unconditional self-acceptance. That is, the ability to fully embrace all aspects of the self, and self-expression is a big part of this. It’s a big step towards inner peace. Meditation and reflection will aid in this process, but the shortcut is to fall in complete unconditional love with the self. This awakens a deep peace with infinitely expanding love within you. Like the saying, “home is where the heart is”, but your heart is inside you. There is no external home, as discussed in The End of Seeking. At the level we accept ourselves, we experience this infinite love and expansion within. The mind becomes at peace with itself and the heart opens up. Our experiences expand with so much depth when we go beyond the limitations of mind and into the heart.
Until next time,