For many years I suffered because I was born a deep thinker.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been contemplating the greater meaning of life, wanting to know and understand how ‘it all works.’
When I was a small child, my constant questions and inquiries about life and God were heralded wondrous, the probing mind of a highly intelligent child, but as I grew older, my depth began to annoy people, and what was so readily embraced and encouraged in my early childhood years, became disapproved of.
As I became aware of this disapproval, I learnt not to ask the ‘wrong questions.’ I learnt not to ask questions or try to understand things about God and religion that were obviously contradictory and inconsistent.
I learnt not to ask people how they felt about life and our journey here on earth, and I also learnt not to ask adults questions about things they may not know about. Otherwise I’d be berated and bullied for “sticking my nose into things that didn’t concern me.”
I was constantly told not to “act so old for my age,” but I couldn’t help it. Wanting to know all about God and life burned so hot inside of me, that I desperately thirsted for truth. And I hoped that adults could enlighten me on it.
(When I was 2 years old, I asked my mother how babies came about. After she had explained it to me, I then asked how one stops babies being born. My mother gave me the contraception talk while I was still wearing nappies to bed at night.)
I not only learnt to hide my depth by suppressing my questions and inquiries, I also did it by suppressing my interests.
In my teenage years, like so many teens, desperate to belong, I took on another persona. I pretended not to love philosophy, languages, the arts, the esoteric and serene environments, and to love drinking, smoking, gossip, heavy metal music, flannelette shirts and black jeans. (Actually, I do like tight black jeans!)
I thought, if I could immerse myself in the small-talk world, where boob size, beer, hot surfer boyfriends, girlie flirtatiousness and beach parties were the highest priority, I could find a community and feel good about myself. I wanted to be a part of a soul tribe.
But no matter how hard I tried to care about who was going out with who, who was wearing what designer label, and who had gotten the most drunk at a party last weekend, I simply couldn’t muster the strength to sincerely become interested in what my other peers valued. This was intuitively felt by my friends, and I then became criticized for being a snob and aloof.
Deeply fearing complete alienation and knowing that being true to what I loved would exclude me from my tribe indefinitely, I stopped being sincere, and that other persona I had taken on, became a real pseudo personality.
I was not only faking it now, I had sold a piece of my soul to conformity.
Of course, selling myself to belong only caused me deeper pain. I may have been a cool girl in school, and had the approval of my tribe, but I was empty, fragmented and lonely.
What saved me from my plight was moving to Germany.
FINDING MY TRIBE IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED OF PLACES
In 2001, I moved to Germany (I ended up spending 7 years of my life there.) I was 21, and was instantly accepted by people, depth and all.
Not only that, the people I met in Germany loved and cherished my depth because they were deep too. They spent their Saturday evenings in quiet cafes, sipping peppermint tea and talking about the meaning of life.
They loved to dwell and ponder the mysteries of the Universe and they were turned on by the transcendental. They meditated, did yoga and regularly took spiritual retreats.
For the first time in my life, I felt completely accepted and understood. I had found my soul tribe; a tribe of people with whom I jived. Now I could relax, stop pretending and be myself.
Instead of feeling different and dumb, I felt cherished and supported. This boosted my self-esteem, and when your self-esteem is intact, life works. (Finding my soul tribe was the main reason why I began working as a medical intuitive in my early twenties. It gave me the courage to ‘come out of the closet’ about being psychic.)
HOW TO FIND YOUR SOUL TRIBE
On reflection, I now understand that if I had had a healthier self-esteem, I wouldn’t have had to wait until I was 21 to find my tribe.
If I had worked on improving my self-esteem, I would have easily found like-minded, soul-searching people in my hometown because I would have drawn them to me, or caused them to show up in my life.
Most people are searching and waiting to find their tribe instead of boosting their own self-esteem and allowing themselves to be whoever they feel most comfortable being.
Feel good in your own skin, and your tribe will show up.
For most of us, though, that is easier said than done. Most of us find it hard to accept ourselves and others they way we/they are. We fear that if we accept difference – to allow ourselves and others to be how we/they are – we drop our standards and have to passively put up with that which we don’t resonate with.
If I had accepted in my teens that I valued different things than my peers, I could have been gentler on myself and on them.
I would have not forced myself to be fake, and I wouldn’t have secretly loathed my peers. I was not a good friend to them or myself because I ‘rejected’ them and ‘neglected’ me.
A sure-fire way to prevent your soul tribe from showing up is being hyper-sensitive and hyper-critical about others differences.
Spending time examining other people’s flaws, nit-picking, psycho-analysing them or mentally spending time thinking about what others should and shouldn’t do, pushes people away. Even if you don’t express your opinions about other people, they will energetically feel that you don’t approve of them.
It is my experience, that the loneliest people are the most critical, and the happiest people, are the most accepting.
If you want to be surrounded by loving people, a tribe of like-minded souls that encourage and empower you, try feeling good in your own skin and letting them feel good in theirs. In no time at all, you’ll have so many genuine friends, that your social calendar will be permanently booked out.
Wishing you the greatest success in finding your soul tribe!