The Counselling Shed
All alone, together.
A few years ago I attended a ten-day therapeutic workshop.
(BTW it was a 5Rhythms workshop and if you’ve not heard or tried 5Rhythms before then check it out as it’s the best therapeutic practice that I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve experienced a lot of different so-called therapeutic practices! In fact I loved it so much that I decided to train to become a 5Rhythms teacher!)
There were about 16 of us in the group and as I got to know the others I started to hear the same thing….
“I’m really loving the workshop but I don’t really feel part of the group!”
It seemed as though we were a group of people who all somehow felt that we were not quite a part of the group.
Feeling Part of the Group Vs Feeling Outside the Group?
But what makes us feel outside of the group?
Maybe it goes back to our experiences of the School classroom. Growing up many of us had a sense of other people being at the centre of the group – the popular ones, the ones that seemed confident and outgoing.
“If only I could be more like them”, we’d often think, “then I’d feel ok”!
But the truth is that we are all different shades of being: we all have different qualities and strengths.
So if you are someone who is more reflective or quiet, or someone who needs periods of solitude, or someone who prefers crochet to cricket, or finger-painting to football, this doesn’t mean that you therefore need to cast yourself outside of the group.
It’s time to count yourself in.
You are still part of the group.
Your presence in the group, and in a bigger context, your presence here on earth is welcomed – imagine that the whole group would be different if you were not in it.
You have a valuable contribution to make just by being you.
I think it was bell hooks (or maybe some other clever academic) who said that occupying a place on the margins of a group (or culture) is advantageous because from that perspective you can see what is going on in the centre, but you can also see what is going on in the wider context: you might pick up on things that those in the centre might be oblivious to.
Anyway…. all this as a reminder to:
1. Count yourself in!
2. Value the unique qualities and gifts that you do have!
3. As much as you can, stop comparing yourself to others (often when we go into comparison, and we all do it from time to time, we’re comparing the negative of what we feel inside with what we perceive to be the positive and perfect outside of someone else. The truth is though, that we all have problems, even the most seemingly perfect of us!
Now when I’m in groups, I accept the fact that I am probably going occupy a more marginal position, and I am ok with this – but I definitely still count myself it, and I value who I am.
Do you find that you are spending far too much time comparing yourself to others and/or wishing that you were someone else?
If you feel that you could use some support in learning to valuing yourself, just as you are right now, then get in touch and let’s have a chat.
It’s 07757 859 650 – if you want to speak or text, or:
firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’d prefer to email.
Take care now.