If you find yourself in a Vocation of Service, you are likely no stranger to being told that you are special. “It takes a special person to do the work you do.” “It’s a special person who can work with people like that.”
Let me ask you ~ how do you feel when you are described as special because of your choice to be of Service in the world. Be honest. Is there a part of you that feels good ~ like your value has suddenly increased ~ and you are more important than you were before you received that compliment. Maybe, you shudder at the remark. Perhaps, you have an aversion to the suggestion that you are special. Depending on how you define or interpret that term, you may respond in a number of ways.
When I first began my career in developmental services, not only do I recall being referred to as special ~ I remember the people I worked with being called that as well.
At first, my ego liked it. Yes, I am special. Look at me. I am okay ~ I am doing something important. I must have value and worth. But after awhile, it didn’t feel good anymore. It felt superficial and artificial.
I began to realize that as I was seen as special, I also ran the risk of toppling off that special pedestal that I would be perched on.
Special is defined as being different and outside of the ordinary. It refers to something or someone that is unusual or better, separate and unique ~ exclusive.
When it comes to using “special” to describe people who have challenges or experiences in life that are outside of the mainstream experience, instead of acknowledging and embracing unique perspectives and expressions, we are excluding people and making them different or abnormal. And what is normal anyway?
Special as a term to describe Service Providers does exactly the same thing. It separates us from the rest of humanity and sets us up for an inevitable fall from grace when the truth of our humanity shows up. It can be exhausting to try to live up to an ideal image that others have created for you.
The other day, I was doing a presentation with a group of young professionals and in our discussion it came up that our differences are what make us special. And I wondered if it was more accurate to say that our differences are what make us interesting.
The truth is that as human beings here on Earth, we are more alike than we are different. As we focus on our shared humanity, we honor our connection with each other and all that is. As we focus on what makes us unique and interesting, we create space and opportunity for each of us to contribute in ways that only we can.
Each one of us is special in some way. No one has more value here than anyone else. My skills, talents and gifts are not more important than yours and yours are not more important than mine. We all have something to offer in this lifetime and it is a contribution to the greater whole. We are not meant to all being doing the same thing and thinking the same way.
Screw special ~ let’s embrace curiosity, authentic diversity, unique and personal contribution and heartfelt connection with each other. This world needs us all. If you are here right now, you have something of value to bring to the table.
Lets get started!
How do you feel your connection and express your unique energy all at the same time?