Where Do I Fit In? (Being The Odd One In The Family)

135639-135542As the holidays are wrapping up, many of us are filled with different emotions. Some of us are happy that we had a chance to bond family. On the other hand, some of us are dreading this time, and cannot wait for it to be over. No matter how you may feel, this season is guaranteed to come each year. The most important thing to do during this time is to create a comfortable space for yourself internally, so that this time can be joyous for you. Have you ever felt like “The Black Sheep” in the family? Feeling like you do not belong is more common than you may think. Many of us including myself, do not think the same way as a lot of our family members. As a result, we sometimes struggle with interacting with them. However, it is important to understand that they are family no matter what. We may not understand them, but it is imperative to have a healthy relationship with them.

As a person who has struggled with fitting in with family, I think the biggest thing is that do not realize that we are distancing ourselves from them. We feel so different that we begin to shut down when we feel that our views on life does not correlate with theirs. Many of us do this as a shield of protection to prevent ourselves from getting upset. We may also do this simply because we feel like they are not competent enough to understand. The best thing that one can do in this situation is to remain true to themself. Understand that you cannot change who you are and you will probably never comprehend their way of thinking, but embrace them and appreciate that they are different. If God made us all the same, you would not think the same way they did. We were are made to have our own individuality. This is what causes us to be able to birth our own gifts.

Being different from the rest of your family allows opportunities to be presented to you that they could never receive. You should never be ashamed or even accept the fact that someone would make you feel weird or less than yourself because of your difference. Understanding why I was distancing myself from my family took a long time to grasp. I knew that I did it a lot, but did not understand why I did it. After this past Christmas, I took a step back and analyzed why I felt like I did not really care about having Christmas dinner with them.

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I realized that there was no one that I could talk to about the exciting things I had going on. There was one person that I could talk to (my mother), but I talk to them everyday about what I have going on. No one would understand the importance of my writing or see a future in it. While I continued to focus on the negative, my subconscious began to speak to me. It is so easy for us to focus on ourselves, and not think of anyone else. How could I knock them down for not being excited when I did not ask them if they had anything exciting going on in their life? I never asked one of my family members what excites them. I did not attempt to see if they could give me advice on something that I do not know. You cannot have a successful relationship if you do not try. This goes for friendship, intimate relationships, and family relationships.

After evaluating myself, I decided that I was going to try something different. I made a vow to myself that I will better my relationship with both sides of my family.For the first time in about three or four year, I called my dad side of the family for Christmas. I  decided that it was a time to make a change. I may not have a lot in common with the people I am related to, but we are a family. I believe that you have to learn to love them all no matter what. Everyone has the same blood running through their veins, and are connected in some type of way.

Once you start to appreciate your family more, you will start to appreciate life on a different level. There are so many amazing opportunities that we miss on a daily basis because we have not learned the basic needs of communication. This starts with family. I challenge you to reach out to your family. Even if they do not call you, reach out and call them. Let them know that you were just thinking about them. Do not continue to isolate yourself. Being successful is great, but there is nothing better than to have a team behind you rooting for you.

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