Don’t Fake a Fit

For many years — far too many years — I tried to fit into a group. In high school, it was the “smart kids” group. In college, it was the “nonconformist artists” group. As a young mother, it was the “mothers of talented kids” group.

At the age of seven, my older daughter was determined to learn to ice skate. I had the urge to pretend to not to know her when other mothers asked me, “Which one is your child?”

It was an easy, but slightly painful answer. “She’s the one who falls down all the time.”

“Ohhhh!” they responded sympathetically and moved a little further down the bleacher.

It’s only natural, psychologists tell us, to want to fit in — to want to be surrounded by at least a few people who like us and are like us. Not having that sense of belonging — feeling like a weirdo — has been a source of much anguish for many people, sometimes leading to suicide.

A plethora of articles have been written about how to fit in. Where to fit in. What to change about yourself so you will fit in. When I was young, all I wanted to do was fit in, and I prayed that God would make me “normal.”
But is the actual problem not fitting in? Or is the problem the anguish that is felt?

Is there a way to overcome the anguish of not belonging — of feeling weird?
As an adult, I searched for years to find the answer to this question. First, I asked God to help me stop caring about what other people think. Then I asked God to help me stop comparing myself to others. I knew these issues were partly the source of my anguish, and I hoped for a quick and easy fix.

In time, God answered my prayers, but not in the way I expected. Instead of helping me learn how to be like other people so I would fit in, God helped me see that His blueprint for me was one-of-a-kind and I shouldn’t strive to be like other people.

He didn’t intend for me to be like others— He intended for me to be like me — the best version of me.

I still struggle sometimes to remember this — like when I’m put into a group situation with people who don’t share my views. It can be difficult to know when and what to share and when to sit quietly and observe.

But whether I am sharing or observing, the pangs of feeling like I don’t belong are gone now.

I am the product of a unique blueprint. And other people are, too.

Now, instead of trying to fake a personality, I am motivated to help others find their unique blueprints too.

Angle of Reflection

Who is this person labeled “me”?
What’s my concrete identity?
I’ve contemplated, pondered, too,
about the “Me” without the “You.”

When I look in mirrored glass
to view myself in ages past,
I only see a faceless form
of rebel lass who won’t conform.

And even later, as a teen,
reflection was a hazy scene
of tumult, sorrow, joy and strife
just floating on the sea of life.

Throughout the ages of my years,
I’ve always had some doubts and fears
that forced me into never knowing
never showing
or revealing
just exactly what I’m feeling,
building walls instead of healing
all my childhood wounds and fear
of others if they got too near.

But that has changed. I now know You.
And Jesus, you have shown me who
I am — a unique work of art
connected to my Maker’s heart.

So now I feel just like a prize
when I am looking through Your eyes.
I see that I am worth far more
than I had ever dreamed before.

And in the glass I only see
Your love reflecting back at me.

What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. — Matthew 10:29–31

2 Comments to Don’t Fake a Fit

  1. Robert Walsh says:

    For me as an INFJ, a damaging era of my early life, was 10 years of being a student in the public school system. When I was 16 and old enough to escape, I did. No more standardized thinking and obedience training.

    After escaping, I took a GED test and then enrolled in a great trade school, where instead of being a loser, I was one of the outstanding students. Trade school for me, was a place where students could excel, and be creative while we learned our trades.

    • Susan Louise says:

      Thank you so much for adding your thoughts! We INFJs seem to start early in our lives to struggle to fit in. As sensitive souls, we just seem to “know” how others feel about us, and that knowledge makes it even harder to be ourselves. I am so glad to hear that you found yourself! Many INFJs go through their adult lives not really understanding themselves or why they don’t seem to fit in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.