“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were meant to stand out?”
— Ian Wallace
There are those moments — sometimes in the dark where no one can see, sometimes a glimmer coming through the trees like a ray of sunlight — when you can feel the spark of possibility that lives inside of you. It exists, like swans in the moonlight, whether or not anyone sees.
And then it seems as though it is just as quickly gone. You no longer see yourself from the inside out; instead, you are looking from the outside in. Every way in which you do not match some arbitrary ideal is highlighted — like spots on the kitchen windows when the sun streams through on a crisp fall day. When examined under bright light for flaws, my beloved little house no longer seems to have any value at all.
But the essence of a person is not the sum of her perceived flaws! The essence is that spark, the essence is a swan in the moonlight. And it has nothing to do with fitting into a standard mold of conformity.
You may have been a child — or have a child — who just doesn’t seem to fit in. Taller or more outspoken than the others — or almost silent; covered with spills and rumpled when classmates are starched; studying what makes windmills turn when friends are playing dolls — it’s so easy to miss the genius within when the light is harsh and unbending.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
— Albert Einstein
Becoming a swan means letting the spark emerge so that you are the spark. The external trappings of conformity cease to have importance in the face of the possibility of being.
Self development is about daring to be a swan. When you feel that glimmer, I encourage you to seize it, embrace it and grow into it.
What energy, if we each were to support the unreproducible circle of human beings who surround us, each child, each adult, in doing that, too.