“Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers mystics, painters, troubadours, for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.”
This is the first of a three part exploration of Blessed By The Weird by Jacob Nordby’s. A book for the ‘weirdians’…
“Empathetic people – dreamers and idealists – have this sort of accidental power. Most spend their early years ridden with self-doubt, insecurity, and people pleasing habits. But their journey is inevitably derailed when this comfortable life gets uprooted by an unexpected darkness. Suddenly their trusted methods no longer seem to bring them happiness. At first this depression convinces them that they might never feel joyful again. But ultimately, it sets them on a quest for something more – for love, justice, and wisdom. Once this adventure begins, there is no stopping a dreamer. And when dreamers unite? Well, that’s how we start to change the world.”
The Blessed Weird and The Gentle Rebel
It was my friend Mark Pierce who first put me onto his book. He assumed I already knew it, and after reading I could see why. It resonates deeply with the heart of what it means to be a gentle rebel. Those who see the world differently and whose need to “express the song of their soul” is as critical as their need for food, water, and shelter.
Nordby suggests that “everyone has weird little quirks in their personality, but not everyone has lived through the difficult experience of not fitting in.” This is the feeling of being in a place but not of it. Alone in a crowd.
The call for the dreamers to unite isn’t a suggestion that we must form another kind of clic or insider group. This is not about creating an exclusive club for the weird rebels, so that they can resent the rest of the world. Just like the rise of introvert power is not about ‘getting our own back’ on, or pointing fingers extroverts. Otherwise we become the opposite of gentle rebels and blessed weirdians. We conform to the normal reality and become just like the prevailing way of doing things.
The New Renaissance
There are much more exciting implications from Nordby’s book. It’s one of encouragement, reassurance, and freedom. You will be reminded that you’re not alone. And encouraged to continue trusting in the way you see the world, so that you might find the right way to process and express this unique lens.
He says that “in this new renaissance, the highest-value currency is not money or faster machines; it is the ability to see and see and keep seeing the world through different eyes. And then do something with the unique way you see it.”
It is this call to ‘do something with the unique way’ we see the world that I get excited about. Because it is where we encounter the space between fitting in and belonging. We are confronted with a question: will we conform to the prevailing norms of our tribe so that we don’t stand out? Or will we forge a new path and find belonging alongside the other weird misfit gentle rebels throughout history and around the world?
The Curse and The Blessing
For many, high sensitivity and introversion is seen as a curse. They are traits that can inhibit us from meeting the expectations of an extroverted culture. To be ‘on all the time’, endlessly outgoing, and energised by excitement and adventure.
But it is in the places we feel cursed that we find the heart of our blessing. We will get overwhelmed from time to time. It might even happen often. But this is surely better than the alternative…
“I fear numbness. My raw senses that receive all the nuanced vibrations are not just icing on the cake for me. They are the whole cake, the plate, the table, and the music too. If I can’t feel, I can’t access what for me is the most vital fuel of existence.”
It’s because we feel deeply that we experience the beauty and the pain, the vision and the darkness, the presence and the absence. But we can’t have one without the other.
We can however, learn to manage, adapt, and design our lives in such a way that gives us more control over the stimulation. The tragedy for any highly sensitive person would be numbness. We never want to turn off the unwanted side of sensitivity (which is possible – I’ve been there), because the moment we do that, we turn off the entire flow. And when we do that, we lose everything.
When we were kids our weird was abundant. But as we grew older we “learn to protect ourselves, to act normal and turn down our light”.
It’s time to ramp that light up again and shine it back towards the world in ways we never dared dream we could. You with me?
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Listen to The Gentle Rebel (Extended Play) Private Podcast:
The Blessing and The Curse
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