We all come to that point in our lives one day when you we think, what’s so special about me? What great contribution am I going to make in my lifetime? I’m not sure if it’s a lack of confidence or that we as human beings are so similar to our fellow man. We share the same amount of muscles and limbs, we experience similar upbringings depending on your community, we might attend some of the same institutions, we could share the same affinity for music and we own the same iPhone (no offence android lovers).
In our lives we meet people or become aware of personalities that make such an impression on us that we begin to examine where they went to school, what books they read, what products they like, who their following on social media. It’s possible in our admiration for these individuals that we even start to mimic their mannerisms or language. Have you ever noticed that when a group of moms hang out together and someone starts using a phrase, they all start using the phrase?!?! Ok maybe I j just have a heightened awareness about these things. The point is, we can subconsciously become someone who isn’t us, and we can start to hyper focus on the uniqueness of others, that we totally forget about plain Jane over here. Perhaps it is the imposter syndrome. The voice saying, “who do you think you are being so unique, showing your true self!” Perhaps it’s that we are scared of our own greatness and unique potential. Perhaps the light we can shine onto the world is too bright for us or for others, so we’ve learned to dim ourselves to to be more comfortable so we aren’t offending anyone.
When our parents named us, it was as if they had prophecy, an epiphany as to who we would be. Some of us have unique names in this Western world, usually because we’ve immigrated from other parts of the world so we have hyphens, and emphasis on letters that cannot even be sounded in the English language. As children, this makes for uncomfortable moments in the playground but as we grow up do we still hold onto our hang-ups? Do they hold us back?
While many of us share the same name, the background of how our name came to us could be through honoring a relative, or because someone made an impact on your parents and they wanted a piece of that legacy to live in you. Maybe it’s because your parents loved a certain letter of the alphabet, or a place in the world that holds meaning to them. Eventually, it feels like we do settle into our name, but we also have an opportunity to own it in such a way that is unique to us. Can you imagine going up to heaven and G-d saying to you, “So listen up, I noticed you were trying to be a lot like Moses, which is great and all…but I’m confused because I already made one of him, so why weren’t you trying to be the David I made you to be?’. (Ouch, wouldn’t want to be in the audience when that conversation went down, more importantly I wouldn’t want that question being asked of me!).
Our own paths are blazed by us and with the help of others, but we must walk it alone. We must look inward to see what gifts we’ve been given and use them ferociously like the countdown was on. The great Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav once said, “The day you were born is the day G-D decided the world could not exist without you”. So why have we been wasting our time down here trying to be someone else when the world depends on us to be US. Sure, sometimes it makes sense to proceed with the crowd (with caution of course), but at some point we need to wake ourselves up and get real and say, “is this my path? Am I listening to my inner voice?” We are so busy being busy and so distracted with being distracted that it’s easier for the subconscious part of us to look outward rather than inward. I mean it’s not our fault, we are hard wired for protection and our brain will say the craziest things and we will “rationalize” or “pretend” to be something we are not to protect others because ultimately we cannot suffer the pain or discomfort of how we impact others. But what about you? Your soul? Your Spirit? Your Uniqueness? Whose going to advocate for you? Who is going to tell you that just because you are alive, you are allowed to occupy space and be unique in this world. We must always remember in a world where we are so alike, our souls are so unique. So when we go up to heaven, it’s not our bodies doing the talking, our souls will have to justify our actions. I think it is time to make changes and claim our uniqueness, I mean it’s a way easier task when you have a breathing body, you feel me?