Unpacking our Uniqueness


Each and every person is a package enclosing a unique combination of qualities and gifts, including ourselves. This is what I notice when I rest deeply in somebody’s company, when my ‘me-ness’ relaxes. I receive the presence of the person in front of me fully. Some of the time I am much more interested in what I have to say and that is okay too. This is how I have been most of my life, jostling for the position of being the most special among those around me.

As I am now more appreciative of my own uniqueness, I have become less fixated on and interested in imposing my ‘me-ness’ on others. I listen better and have become more open to what others have in there. And wow, there is always always something amazing in each person, even if they aren’t aware of it themselves. It is thrilling to discover what is inside ourselves and others, like opening a really unusual and expensive xmas present.

I experiment with it sometimes. Driving along looking at other drivers and regarding them as sovereign and powerful, fellow shoppers in the supermarket are precious and unique, the guys at work are wise emissaries…it’s a beautiful perspective to cultivate. Regarding people as way above mere royalty, as awesomeness embodied, encourages reverence and respect. Of course that includes us too. And when we recognise our own unique set of gifts and talents fully, there is no need to compare ourselves with others, or compete, or feel jealous. We are just as amazing in our own way.

Back in Africa I had a crazy thought which I found most entertaining, and I still play with it at times for fun. The idea is that each person here on earth is royalty from various other planets in the universe all meeting here. I know it is somewhat unlikely to be true, but I love the experiment with that thought, how it alters the perspective of others and elevates us all. The utter respect that would be engendered if it were true and we all knew it. We would greet each other like the Japanese do by a bow of respect. The truth is just about the same.

Even if others do not realise what their gifts and talents are, it doesn’t matter, we can still recognise that there is something undiscovered in there, a secret combination of qualities unlike any other. Imagine if our education system started from this premise! That each child has a precious cargo of qualities waiting to be discovered, opened up and cultivated. It is a powerful position to cultivate in relation to others. To bypass what they are trying to project, to look behind the mask of who they think they need to be to get our approval, to know they have probably been the product like us of conditional love and an education system that creates productive economic units, and to recognise their sovereign uniqueness and precious secret that they are carrying.

How do we start to appreciate our uniqueness so that we can fully live in the seat of our own saddle? I started by writing a list of everything that positive anyone had said to me as I found it difficult at first identify anything I liked about myself, as I was so used to self criticism and judgement. And when I became more at ease with thinking nice things about myself I added my own assessment of my positive qualities and any talents and strengths that I recognised.

Here is a taste of what mine looks like starting with what others have said about me. I recommend this exercise – it is wonderful for cultivating appreciation and confidence.

I am : Capable Independent Confident Strong Imaginative Pretty Practical Spontaneous

Loving Kind A free thinker Deep Someone who recognises and appreciates beauty and shares it with others Helpful Good at seeing the best in people Compassionate Sensitive….

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