12/05/2012 10:29 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2013

When We Stand Out From the Crowd

I have been called many things throughout my life. At school, I quickly learned that if you stood out from the crowd, people would have an opinion about it. It was a threat to the group if you went your own way. So I became a master at blending in, while I slowly died inside.

As I went through my personal and spiritual development, I began to own my power and my views on life. And as I shined more and more clearly, more and more people began to form an opinion about me and my views.

It was very scary in the beginning. I'm the type of person who is not keen on conflict and discussions. I felt wrong and misunderstood when people talked badly about me. And I was deeply hurt when they gossiped behind my back.

I now understand that we mirror each other back and forth. All issues others may have with me or my opinions are about them. I'm mirroring something unbalanced in them, and the brighter my light shines the stronger I will mirror them back. How it all feels in me? That's my stuff to handle.

I'm no longer afraid of making people angry. They can think what they want. As long as they don't expect me to agree with them. And as long as they don't take a patent on the truth.

In Australia they call the phenomenon "The Tall Poppy Syndrome." The fact that in groups there is a tradition for cutting down everything beyond the norm, because they are a threat for conformity and invite new thinking.

In reality we are all tall poppies. Many of us have just forgotten about that. And if we don't want to feel the pain in our playing small, it makes sense to cut ourselves or others down.

Every time I see a poppy, I send so much gratitude to the many people who through time have stood for something with great courage. Also, when their thinking was in great contrast to the opinion of the masses.

Those people inspire me deeply. And in periods where my own courage is vague, I remind myself of the tall poppies.

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