You belong: a letter to the world

A few weeks ago, I attended a weekend Discover Your Purpose workshop. After the workshop, we were assigned the task of writing a letter to the world. This is mine.

It’s dedicated to others like me who feel like they don’t belong – my fellow weirdos and misfits.

And it explains a bit about why I called my book the YOU-Shaped Business.

Full text below the video.

Dear world…

You don’t have to figure out where ALL the pieces go – just your own.

When I was a kid, my mom used to do jigsaw puzzles.

Big ones.

Hundreds of little pieces that took up the entire dining room table.

I watched as she patiently sorted the pieces and tried each, one by one, figuring out exactly where it fit in.

I’ve come to believe that the world that you and I inhabit is just like an enormous jigsaw puzzle – and each of us is one of 7.6 billion pieces.

Fortunately, we don’t need to figure out where every one of the pieces go – we just need to figure out where we fit.

And that’s a big enough job.

The key to doing this lies in the annoying advice my mom used to always give me:

“just be yourself, dear.”

I say it’s annoying because it SOUNDS ridiculously easy – what’s so hard about being yourself?

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Being yourself can be challenging when you feel like you don’t fit in. Here’s my letter to the world – dedicated to others like me who feel like they don’t belong – my fellow weirdos and misfits.” quote=”Being yourself is difficult when you feel different from everyone around you”]

There is a YOU-Shaped hole in this puzzle – even if you’re a chicken!

Until you try to DO it and find out that it’s fiendishly difficult.

Especially if your particular piece of the puzzle seems to be substantially different from the pieces around you.

Sometimes my mom’s puzzles were 80% sky – with all the interesting bits, say a picture of a farm, all concentrated in a narrow band at the bottom of the puzzle.

Viewing my life as this farmyard puzzle, I felt like I was born into a family and society full of blue sky pieces – with the odd bit of fluffy white cloud thrown in for personality.

But me? I would be a piece of tractor tire or maybe a bit of the red barn or a chicken. (Yeah…totally a chicken.)

I learned to keep my tractor tire or chicken bits hidden.

I tried my best to be a blue sky piece – in a world that valued blue sky pieces – and rejected me for being different.

But here’s the thing: if you’re a tractor tire or a piece of a lighthouse or a whitecap on an ocean wave – that’s the piece you get to play.

Yay you. Yay me.

Which sort of sucks until you realize that by BEING the piece you are meant to play: part of the Ferris wheel or the ear of a sheep, you find the pieces you’re meant to hang out with.

Find your other tractor parts!

You find where you fit in.

You’re a tractor tire? Cool! I’m part of the steering wheel.

When you do this, you’ll discover that the world isn’t made of 80% blue sky pieces after all.

There are actually quite a few of us chickens. And a whole bunch of tractor tires. And some barn doors, some goats and a wishing well.

We need ALL of the pieces to complete the puzzle. Including your piece. You’re here for a reason.

There is a YOU-Shaped hole in the world that only you can fill: with your ideas, your talents, your personality, your skills, your heart…and yes, even your own brand of weirdness.

You matter. You belong.