The Tyranny of Specialness

Everyone is special. It's true to the point of being trite.

We are all the only version of ourselves that will ever exist and we are so richly resourced that we will never be able to uncover the depths of our specialness even for ourselves.

So why are we all so special? And what does SPECIALNESS ask of us, especially in challenging times?

Often we consider specialness as a scarce resource. We define ourselves by our specialness and hold it up as a way to validate our position. Our specialness is used to prop up our self worth, particularly when we feel threatened, competitive, and comparative. We feel bad when it seems that other people are living their best lives and we are left behind to wonder why we are not.

Specialness can be converted in these moments into a means to define our suffering. It's the way in which our life experience cannot be understood by others. It's the way that our break ups, deaths, betrayals, and pain are unique in the context of our own history that keeps us locked in a loop of isolation and misunderstanding. We are special in this context, because we are not just special, we are alone.

It's true that each of us is going to experience the losses of our lives uniquely. We will not hurt in the same way, grieve in the same way, repair in the same way as our closest loved ones. And part of what our specialness is designed to do is to make us more acutely aware of the nuances of who we are. We are meant to know how we are different, not because our difference is defining but because our difference is redeeming.

It is the very ways in which we are different that allows us to step up and be helpful in other people's times of need. It's the special way we can make our friends laugh on bad days. It's the getaway car we drive. It's the embrace we offer at just the right time. It's the speech we give that moves people we've never met in ways that removes their obstacles.

Our uniqueness when combined with love, is the antidote to uniqueness combined with lack.

Specialness is a puzzle piece and our mission is to find the right fit for it to light up the lives of others and to invite others to light up our lives. The meaning of our specialness is that it literally plugs our love and lifeforce into the spaces in the world where it is most needed, most useful, most joyful.

So when we are really in that space that is uniquely wounded, remember that we are offering the universe a chance to bring us into relationship with other unique forces that can reset the balance of our lives. Consider that every hurt is someone's opportunity to rise in ways they may not yet have tapped into. When we see the world's suffering as a chance to broaden into our own gifts, we can perceive that lack creates love in the way that thirst can make a simple glass of water so very precious, so very welcome, so very special.