Midlife Signpost 4: Freedom to embrace every beautiful quirky, peculiar, wildly unique part that makes you YOU!

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How far will you go to fit in?

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Unique: distinctively characteristic; able to be distinguished from all others of its class or type

merriam webster dictionary

We live in a society that promotes the latest lifestyle trends in fashion, food, health, music, movies, or anything else. As humans, we have an innate need to belong and fit in. We don’t want to feel left out, or like an outsider, so we adopt these constantly shifting trends to feel like we are a part of mainstream society.

The risk of blindly following these trends is that you lose the beautiful innate traits that you were born with and that you can use to bring light into a dark world.

Blindly following these trends, we risk creating a world filled with clones void of everything that makes you authentic.

At a deeper level, you lose track of the distinct ways you were shaped to contribute to the world in unique ways.

Now if the foot should say, “because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body”, it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

1 corinthians 12:15-19

Midlife is a particular season that highlights the dissonance between who you are at the core and keeping up with ever-changing lifestyle trends.

What Makes You Unique?

What characteristics, interests, passions, quirky traits, and abilities set you apart from another?

‘For we are His workmanship,[His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above- spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us] – Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)

One of my favourite types of people to engage with are people who have uncovered and developed their unique skills and passions and use these to live meaningful and purposeful life. They passionately speak about their craft, and they go the extra mile to do their best. They stand out in a crowd and strive for excellence in their work.

Each of us was innately equipped with spiritual gifts and abilities unique to us. You may be a skillful musician, draft beautiful poems, draw breath-taking landscapes. Or, you may be an exceptional cook or baker, flower artist. You may be good at budgeting, organising events, interior decor, or a good athlete. There are things you do that someone else cannot, and vice versa. Do you know what your unique traits and skills are?

May Sarton beautifully capture the liberation that awaits after we filtered through the many faces our environments aim to impose on us:

MAY SARTON POEM

Are you still unsure about what you were uniquely crafted to do? Do you seek deeper meaning in your everyday life, or how to contribute to the world in purposeful ways? Don’t despair.

I spent years and endless hours seeking to understand how my introverted personality, interests, passions and skills were uniquely created to serve others in very specific ways. Because I understand the desperate need to understand and uncover and step fully into that self, I created a step-by-step guide to support your exploration and help you thrive on purpose in midlife. You’ll find this under the resource page (see image below).

UNVEIL YOUR LIFE WORKBOOK

What about you, midlifers? What unique, quirky character or personality traits do you have that you hide from the world because you think it’s not popular or acceptable?

The fourth article in the 2022 blog series, Five Midlife Milestones, explores the true self. It examines midlife as a season that urges you to stop shape-shifting and bending to conform and comply to external pressures. Especially, if compliance and conformity come at the expense of losing pieces of your innate identity in exchange for a mask that doesn’t fit the true you.

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